Every year a small village in the north of germany becomes the center of every Headbangers Universe. Follow Eyecon behind the scenes of the world´s biggest Metal Festival, the Wacken Open Air.
The Wacken Open Air or “The Holy Wackenland” how it is named by the fans is the worlds biggest Heavy Metal Festival. For now already 20 years, Metalheads from all over the world are pilgrimage to the little village in the north of germany to pray to the gods of metal. Funny thing is, that this city is really in the middle of nowhere and has less then 2000 citizens.
When the Open Air appears, the population is raising up to 80.000 people from one day to another. It is really crazy to drive into the city and see all this crazy drunken Metalheads running around or standing in the line of the only supermarket next to an old farmer lady or a retired grandpa.
Meanwhile most of the citizens are proud to live in the “Mekka” of Heavy Metal and a lot of them are earning good money when the “Flood of Denim and Leather” is hitting the town. They are selling beer and sausages over the fence or rent their garage for a few nights to some homeless Metal Maniacs.
This Festival is a such a phenomenon that in 2005 / 2006 the korean director Cho Sung-Hyung is producing a documentary about the Wacken Open Air. The movie is called “Full Metal Village” and not only interesting for people who like it a little bit louder. Hyung wins several movie awards with “Full Metal Village”, so it´s definetely worth a look.
On this years festival there are more then 100 bands performing live on 4 different stages. There is something for everyone – well known superstars like Motorhead or Saxon but also Metalcore and Medieval Music from artists like “In Extremo” or “Walls of Jericho”.
Another funny episode is that every year on wednesday before the festival opens its gates, the local Wacken Firefighters Marching Band is performing on stage. But instead of old traditional german songs they are playing Heavy Metal Classics. You can imagine how crazy the fans are getting in front of the stage.
Besides all this it is a paradise for every Lomo / Photographer. It is really seldom that you find so many things to shoot at one place. Let it be completely loaded people sleeping in the mud, Heavy Metal groupies, or crazy dressed fans – just point and shoot, there is always something good to capture.
I can only recommend to everyone to pay a visit to this nice little town and remember to bring a lot of film and cameras – you will surely need it.
Wacken – Rain or Shine – See you next year!!!
Full Metal Village – The Movie: www.imdb.com/title/tt0954937/
Wacken Open Air: www.wacken.com