Exploring the village of Wacken: how do locals feel about Wacken 2019?

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Photo: András Melles / Festileaks

Before the gates opened to the Holy Wacken Land at the 30th anniversary of Wacken Open Air, we had a chance to look around and explore the cradle of the biggest metal festival in the world.

Over 150 bands will be performing this year at Wacken Open Air 2019. However, like every year, the festival offers some special shows, which include appearances by bands that celebrate their reunion or farewell, bands that invite orchestras to join them or focus their entire set on specific records.

The Wacken feeling

Photo: András Melles

It is not just the festival area itself that is about the celebration of heavy music. For a whole week each and every year, the town with approximately 1800 residents turn into the hometown of metal. Throughout the three decades since the first edition of the festival, locals also prepare for this massive gathering of heavy music fans. One would find pop up bars nearly everywhere, all the staff in shops and restaurants wear Wacken T-shirts and blast metal from speakers. What else could be more metal than listening to Rammstein while having a kebab?

Creative solutions

Photo: András Melles

It is not just food and drink locals prepare with for the time of Wacken Open Air. You find flags of the festival in nearly every garden, or they have any kind of decoration that is related to the festival. Children are riding on bikes with little carts on their back, collecting empty cans from visitors once they are done with their drinks. It is good for them for the extra pocket money after exchanging those cans, and also helps sustainability and keeps the town extremely clean. Visitors respect the cleanliness of the town as well. You would hardly find any litter on the streets, not even cigarette ends! Sustainable solutions are also turned into fun games, just like the one on the picture above.

We had a chance to chat a bit with one of the locals while he was collecting the cans from the game his family set up. We asked about his opinion on how it is to live here in Wacken, especially during the time of the festival. He shared positive remarks, saying that each year the week of Wacken Open Air is extremely special for them. Even though metal music is not his favourite, he does not mind, because all the people who are visiting the festival are extremely nice and friendly. Such a welcoming atmosphere definitely has a good impact on visitors as well, and add a lot to the whole Wacken experience!

How did you enjoy Wacken 2019?

Were you at Wacken 2019 too? We would like to know how you experienced the festival. Below, you can rate the festival in seven different categories. In September, we conclude which festivals were the best during the Festileaks Festival Awards. Participation is voluntary and anonymous.

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[awards poll=”festileaks-festival-awards-2019″ festival=”wacken-open-air”]

Wacken Open Air 2019

Wacken Open Air is one of the major metal festivals in Europe. It takes place in the village of Wacken in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. Wacken first started as a small festival in 1990, but its popularity over the years increased so much that it is now considered the biggest metal festival in the world. It attracts around 80,000 metalheads every year and is always sold out. In 2016, Wacken launched its own brewery.

  • Location: Wacken, Germany.
  • Date: 1-3 August 2019.
  • Tickets: sold out.
  • For more information, see our festival page or the official website.

I am a concert and festival enthusiast from Hungary, living in the United Kingdom studying History and International Relations. I've been to various festivals in Europe, and my optimal number of festivals I need to visit a year is 3, but we all know that the more the merrier! My favourite genres are rock and metal, but I am open to all different kinds of music. Favourite bands? Name the sub-genre and I tell you my choice! ;)

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