Festival: The return of heavy metal is celebrated in Wacken

After a two-year break due to the pandemic, tens of thousands will be celebrating the return of heavy metal concerts at Wacken Open Air (W:O:A) until Saturday.

Festival: The return of heavy metal is celebrated in Wacken

After a two-year break due to the pandemic, tens of thousands will be celebrating the return of heavy metal concerts at Wacken Open Air (W:O:A) until Saturday.

"We were totally drained," said Thomas Jensen on Friday of the German Press Agency. Jensen was impressed by the atmosphere on the "Holy Ground", as the metalheads call the field in front of the stage. "The blood kind of gets back in the veins and it doesn't really matter which band is playing," said Jensen.

There were initial difficulties

The festival officially started on Thursday with 75,000 visitors. Especially on Wednesday - the traditionally busy day of arrival - there were not only traffic jams on the streets, but also long queues in front of and on the site. This year, festival visitors pay for their food and drinks on the site without cash.

The co-organizer of the open air, which was canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to Corona, admitted that there were initial difficulties. At first there was a bit of a traffic jam, but after a two-year break the team "jerked a bit and we were a bit too slow with the tape output," said Jensen. For that they apologized.

The opening of the so-called infield, the area in front of the main stages, was very emotional on Thursday, said Jensen. In addition to Dirkschneider, the metal greats of Judas Priest played there with the "Metalgod Rob Halford himself" (singer - editor's note), said Jensen. "A terrific gig."

A big surprise was the surprise appearance of Amon Amarth, previously announced in the program under the name "Guardians of Asgaard". The band was back in Wacken for the first time since 2017.

According to the police, the start of the festival was peaceful. "After the very nerve-wracking arrival of the fans due to traffic-related waiting times that sometimes lasted for hours, the minds of those affected have now calmed down and instead of the justified anger there is now the typical Wacken mood," said the police. Emergency services would have had a lot to do, but in many cases only disputes had to be settled.

According to the police, few crimes were recorded from Thursday to Friday. Thieves mostly targeted wallets or smartphones, which they stole from tents or pulled out of clothing unnoticed. In the early hours of the morning, a drunk man forcibly entered a beer stand and security personnel found him there. A breath alcohol test showed the 30-year-old from Sauerland a value of 1.61 per mille. He had to give up his wristband and leave the premises after sobering up.

RTL series "The Legend of Wacken"

Another person caused damage of around 15,000 euros because they triggered a halon extinguishing system in a troop transport tank at the Bundeswehr stand on Thursday afternoon. The suspect, aged around 25, then disappeared.

The six-part RTL series "The Legend of Wacken" is currently being filmed on the festival grounds. The fictional series developed by Florida Film is said to be inspired by true events and tells the story of festival founders Jensen and Holger Hübner. Charly Hübner (as Hübner) and Aurel Manthei (Jensen) play the leading roles. The younger versions of the two embody Sammy Scheuritzel and Sebastian Doppelbauer. Katharina Wackernagel, Marc Hosemann and Detlev Buck can also be seen in other roles. The series is scheduled to run on the RTL streaming service in 2023.

On Friday evening, the festival included concerts by In Extremo and Slipknot. Advance sales for Wacken Open Air 2023 are scheduled to start on Sunday at 8 p.m.

Wacken Festival Police PM

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