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Wacken Metal Festival: Why is it the Mecca for Metalheads?

Wacken Metal Festival stage
For over 30 years, the tranquillity of Wacken takes a break as 2,000 residents welcome over 80,000 metalheads. Fans mark the first weekend of August as the date for participating in one of the biggest metal festivals – the Wacken Metal Festival. For three days, one of the most iconic metal festivals in Europe transforms a village into one of the largest cities in Schleswig-Holstein state. Plus, it becomes the headquarters for the metalhead movement all over the world. For a brief period, Wacken Open Air is the church for celebrating the metal culture and worship metal gods. There are many reasons a quiet village is the ultimate hub for metalheads. At Forces of Metal, we give you a few here.

Metal gods have played here

From a dream of a few young metal fans who put their cash together to build a stage to become one of the biggest stages for metal bands all over, Wacken Open Air has come from far. Some of the biggest names in the world of metal have performed on this stage, including Iron Maiden, Ozzy Osborn, Alice Cooper, and Lordi. Arch Enemy, Sabaton, and many others have realised their best performances at Wacken Metal Festival. Some of the most memorable moments include the time over 40,000 fans sang along to Blind Guardian’s song. It is also here tens of thousands chanted and cheered as Apocalyptica performed a soulful instrumental rendition of Nothing Else Matters by Metallica in 2014.

The Wacken Metal Festival experience

If you are thinking of including the festival in your bucket list, here are a few things to include in a checklist for the full Wacken experience:
  • See more than a thousand people flashing the bull horn
  • Participate or witness the “wall of death” or “circle pit”
  • Experience the Middle Ages at Wackinger Village and Wasteland

Metal music and entertainment at every turn

Wacken hosts more than 150 bands playing on eight stages each year, even the beer garden features live bands. Besides music, you have several options to stay entertained. The 240-hectare festival site is host to several food courts and courts. Despite the noise, many villagers are enthusiastic about Wacken Metal Festival. Many take part in putting up the stages, tapping the beer, and showing visitors areas to pitch tents. A local “Metal Church” is an integral part of the festivities and holds services themed around medieval folk and metal music. In the past few years, Wacken has become a part of the pilgrimage for hardcore metal fans from all over the world.