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Legendary Wacken heavy metal festival strikes opening chord

DDP/DPA/The Local · 5 Aug 2010, 10:52

Published: 05 Aug 2010 10:52 GMT+02:00

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Tickets for the three-day event – billed as the world’s largest heavy metal festival – have been sold out for months. More than one-third come from abroad for the show, also known as W:O:A.

More than 100 bands will play under the motto “Louder than Hell,” and headliners include rock legends Alice Cooper, Iron Maiden, Slayer and Mötley Crüe. Six stages will accommodate the many bands playing across the 140-hectare festival grounds in the state of Schleswig-Holstein.

Click here to rock on with The Local’s 2009 Wacken gallery.

But on Wednesday evening the event was inaugurated with a low-key performance by the Wacken fire fighters’ band, who entertained a group of long-haired metalheads with a flourish of trumpets and old-fashioned biergarten music – a tradition that started in the tiny town in 2005.

Story continues below…

With beer glasses in hand, the sweaty fans reportedly let their hair fly as they banged their heads rhythmically to the Oom-pah beat.

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DDP/DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

11:21 August 5, 2010 by Prufrock2010
What could possibly go wrong with this benign little event?
16:25 August 5, 2010 by Joshontour
@Prufock ^^
23:05 August 5, 2010 by Logic Guy
Well, quite often there are problems, whenever so many people are stacked so close together. Again, if there is a mass panic, then how many more people will die?

I actually have a very good idea. Why not have such huge concerts at large stadiums? Such venues are designed to ACCOMMODATE thousands of people SAFELY.
08:29 August 6, 2010 by marimay
Nothing will happen, because it is not techno music. ;)
10:42 August 6, 2010 by moistvelvet
Yes nothing will happen because it isn't a soft drug fuelled gay love parade goaded by techno. Mass crowds, surfing and diving, it's what real festival goers do!

In such crowds as found at heavy metal concerts, you'll find that although it is rough, if someone falls to the floor then in a manner which Moses would be proud individuals move the sea of people apart to help, not stamp over them to get nearer to where they want to go.
15:45 August 6, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Yes indeed, that drug gay techno combination is deadly every time. Nothing like the peaceful and orderly gatherings of heavy metal head bangers loaded with beer and crystal meth rollicking to the hits played at 140dB.
10:21 August 9, 2010 by radonrain
Why so much negative attitudes, guys? This year was my second trip to W:O:A and I had a wonderful time, and of the dozens of strangers I met, all were kind, happy, and respectful. If you haven't been somewhere, don't judge it, much less the people who attend! Shame on you.

@Logic Guy: A stadium is a terrible idea. Have a bunch of people trapped there for days instead of outdoor campgrounds, where there are far more and larger entrances and exits so people can go into town whenever they want? Stupid. Also you haven't a clue how spread out an event has to be when there are SIX STAGES, a Viking-medieval fair, two markets, and a host of bars and food stands. Go to http://www.wacken.com/en/woa2011/main-info/plaene/ and look at the maps.

You all have no idea how well planned Wacken is. You read that six page article about the Love Parade disaster, and now everybody thinks they're an expert. *Oh no! One bad thing happened at a large event! That means every large event will end in disaster!!* Please.

Nevermind that Wacken has been going on every year for 21 years and when was the last time you heard of a mass panic? You're all just frightened by the media's coverage of The Love Parade incident, and you probably hate heavy metal as well - which is fine, but doesn't mean you're right in your presumptions about the people who do like it.
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