Where to begin? Everyone knows Wacken – it’s one of the biggest metal festivals in the world and to many the only true one. This year they celebrate their 30th anniversary so what better time for your editor in chief to pop his Wacken cherry and take in the sights and sounds with this incredible line-up?
Each year I try to get to at least one new festival I’ve not been to before. Last year was Metal Days and Sabaton Open Air, a couple of years back I hit Bloodstock for the first time (I know, I know… better late than never) and as a publication we’re hitting plenty of them each year – from the tiny independent ones, to the major players. But Wacken XXX? This is going to be massive.
I still keep looking at the poster and spotting new acts I’ve not noticed before. It’s crammed with great bands. Look at the bill-toppers for starters: Slayer’s last German festival show, Sabaton on a 20th anniversary trip, Parkway Drive who will try to burn the place down, Demons & Wizards, Powerwolf, Anthrax, Body Count… After the Slayer show last year I didn’t think I’d get a chance to see them again, so this is a huge draw. I doubt there will be a bigger moshpit on earth than the one that will churn up the fields of Wacken that night.
As a site we like to focus on the less huge acts as well, and Wacken has those in spades with a wealth of bands appearing who’ve not been there before. Some are surprising additions simply as you’d have expected them to have featured in the past. Life of Agony, Venom Inc, Bleed From Within (get in, lads!), Monster Magnet, SOiL, The Sisters of Mercy, Uriah Heep… how have they not been here before? And then the others like Lagerstein who we featured the other day, Of Mice and Men, Deathstars, Frog Leap Studios (YES!), Gama Bomb and a load more. Even the smaller bands are bloody great.
You can check out the poster for the current line-up and there’s still more to come. As well as the bands, there’s the spoken word and “other stuff” to be announced, which will fill the place out even more. I mean, seriously, how are you supposed to see everything? I’m going to be run ragged trying to see as many of the bands as possible, while ensuring I catch full sets from my favourites. I live in fear of clashes!
Honestly, I’ve not been this excited about a festival in ages. There are so many out there with great lineups but hands down I don’t think I’ve seen one this good for a long time. Add to that the great atmosphere I’ve been promised by friends who’ve visited in the past and August just can’t come soon enough.
In the runup we’ll be featuring a bunch more bands – mainly the first-timers – who are on the bill and we will of course be reviewing the hell out of it once it’s all over. As long as I can get a mobile signal over there we’ll also have some on-the-spot live coverage. We’re nice like that!
Keep your eyes open for more news from the Wacken camp about all the fun and games coming your way – if you’re lucky enough to have grabbed a ticket!
Wacken 2019 runs from the 1st to the 3rd of August