Wacken Open Air 2010
This year’s W:O:A started with rain and ticketing chaos, then proceeded with sunny weather, a fantastic line- up (probably one of the best in festival history), a sold out area (75.000 paying guests and 82.500 festival visitors all in all), tons of alcohol, fun and creative people who knew how to draw attention to themselves.
First of all I want to say: Kudos to the festival organization because of the ticketing chaos in the beginning. Hundreds of fake tickets have been sold on eBay. About 180 tickets have been notified by the police and in the beginning it was uncertain if those unlucky people were to be punished a second time by not being allowed to attend the festival. However, the festival organization did their very best and decided to let all the people who got cheated inside. This management decision deserves huge respect, as it was not to be self-evident. Horns up!!!
In the 21 years history of Wacken the weather has always been not controllable. Rain –like hell-, (thunder-) storms, sun, grey clouds, winds and freezing- cold nights. W:O:A saw and felt nearly every kind of weather.
The weather forecast this year predicted rain for the whole weekend just seven days before the festival was about to start. We already suspected a mud wrestling on the festival and camping area. In Fact, the weather had nothing to do with what the German wetter.com (weather.com) told about. It was one of the sunniest and warmest W:O:A’s with the most beautiful sunrise and sunsets for all of the metalheads to see.
Back to the Festival:
At first I would like to say a few things about the festival lineup, as it is definitely worth writing about.
Rock- and metal legends like “Alice Cooper”, “Iron Maiden”, “Mötley Crüe”, “ Slayer”, “Immortal”, “Stratovarius” and many more rocked the stages from 11 o’clock a.m. in the morning until the middle of the night and beyond that (3 o’clock a.m.). For those who still wanted to go ahead after all these great gigs, rambling from one stage to the other, circle pits, stage diving, crowd surfing and drinking, there was a place to go: Partying at the camping area or Metal Karaoke at W.E.T. Stage/ Headbangers Ballroom. It would have been nice to know how many people never found back to their own tents and just stayed somewhere, -in a ditch for example or in a stranger’s tent.
Back to the bands and gigs:
Every single band gave their very best on stage.
The sound was great, the lightshows and pyrotechnics were awesome as well as the stage designs.
I could write about the gig of every single band at Wacken, but I guess this would go beyond the scope of this report. So I will write only some short lines about three bands in the line- up: Alice Cooper, Iron Maiden and last but not least Stratovarius.
Here you go:
For Alice Cooper fans the gig left nothing to be desired. Songs like “Schools out”, “Poison” etc. showed that Alice Cooper is still alive and is able to rock!
Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson (singer) seemed to be very hyperactive during their gig. He was running from the left to the middle, to the right side of the stage, back and in between. The setlist included many new songs but also a few classics like “Fear of the dark”. Although they played nearly without any pyrotechnics, the gig was great. It was more about music and less about fireworks. Horns up!!!
Stratovarius convinced with a very powerful show. They had fun, a lot of stage smoke, while Kotipelto and the other guys animated the crowd to sing, to clap their hands and to have a great time.
As I expected, Stratovarius pleased their fans with jaw-dropping instrumental solos. The concert was just great and it was very nice to see this band again after a few years.
In general, the camping area is not only for sleeping or staying. It is party central. A huge party place for creative people who would do anything just to get attention.
A pavilion, a tent, a barbecue grill and a table are absolute must-haves when coming here.
When watching the people and what they will bring to the camping area, you would never think, that they are only here for one week or just a weekend (and yes, it is normal that many people are camping here already one week before the festival actually starts).
They have generators for music, cool boxes, laptops (believe it or not, but for ten Euros you may purchase a wireless network connection on the camping fields), power outlets for charging mobile phones, cameras and so on, garden fences, self build stages and so much more.
If you want to listen to any kind of music you will find it somewhere on the camping area (Rock, Pop, Metal, Electro, whatever…), just walk around and you will find everything.
All in all:
Wacken Open Air was and still is one of the very best music events in this world. It is not only a festival. It is an annual meeting for every single metal fan out there. It is very well known worldwide and visitors will attend from all around the globe.
Once in a year metal people will celebrate together. They will rock together, drink together and laugh together. It is simply amazing! For every metal fan who has not been here yet:
It is really worth to go to!!! Horns up, and see YOU hopefully next year again!!!
Wacken 2010 in numbers:
• festival area: 200 hectare
• festival infield: 48, 000 sqm
• positioned and tarp-equipped site fence: 35 km
• portable toilets: 450
• flush lavatories: 7 units à 64 toilets
• 5 shower camps à 60 shower units
• 5 water stations à 40 wash places
• 5 drinking water stations à 12 fresh water pumps
• 2,500 cbm dirty water every day to be disposed
• 8 megawatts electric power capacity (matches the daily consumption of a provincial town)
• there were laid 4km of cable (this saves about 68 diesel aggregates)
• in addition to the normal electricity 65 diesel aggregates were required
• 6km flexible cable were laid, 280 breaker boxes were positioned
• 100 catering stands
• 300 non-food stands
• 65 articulated trucks with stage equipment ( 2,275 t )
• 6 articulated trucks with audio engineering
• 18 articulated trucks with light engineering
• stage buildup: 7 days
• stage removal: 2-3 days
• 2km mobile heavy duty street
• 240 office- and sleeping container units
• 75 tents and pagoda
• 60 person host- and organisator team
• 18 electricians
• 40 person site crew
• 15 person “water supply”
• 700 securities & marshals
• 70 buildup- und removal team
• 200 policemen on duty per day
• 200 firefighters on duty per day
• 200 paramedics on duty per day
• 4 emergency doctors
• 50 public authority representatives
• 107 bands (about 1,000 persons)
• 35 all-terrain flatbed trucks
• 40 offroad vehicles
• 30 fork lifts
• 40 shuttles
• 60 quad bikes
• 40 motor rollers
• 80 bicycles