Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Wacken 2007

A special thanks goes to the following:

Metaltix for providing me with some great photos.

Ultimate Metal for helping to host our full Wacken feature, and for help in providing us with the best festival experience possible.

The Journey

Finally, we were all together, and ready to hit the streets in Amsterdam. Paula snapped this picture of Jason, myself (Britt), and Greg squeezing grapefruits.

Paula, Jason (Dark One), and myself (DarkTide) at a fine establishment in Amsterdam.

That Red Light District is something to see. If you decide to travel to Wacken you should seriously consider making it a part of your trip. It's a pretty wild sight to behold.

Here's a pic of the canal that runs thru the main section of the Red Light District.

Here's a seedy little back alley in the Red Light District full of red lights.

The neon plays havok with the pics now and again, but you might be able to make out what's going on here.

The softer side of Greg (Gerneral Zod), and wife Paula ... in Amsterdam, near the Red Light District.

On the road to Hamburg ... General Zod at the wheel. Contrary to popular belief he only flys when absolutely necessary.

"Why in the hell are all of these towns called Ausfahrt?" Duh, it took us about 20 minutes to figure out that they were actually exits off the highway.

Hoisting in Hamburg !! I think we basically hoisted whenever possible.

Here's one from along the waterfront in Hamburg, Germany prior to our heading over to a little metal club called the Headbanger's Ballroom.

I think the DJ played my request for King Diamond's Welcome Home. I was excited.

Amy, a fellow American was in attendance at the Headbanger's Ballroom.

Many Countries were represented in the Headbanger's Ballroom .... Australia this time.

Here's me and Greg with some of our new friends from Ireland.

These headbangers we met were from South Africa. Metal sure brings people together from all over the globe.

Beers in Itzehoe, Germany ... our commuting spot to the Wacken festival. Hefe-whatever you call it, THAT'S what I call a table setting.

The Festival Grounds & Crowd Shots

Another sold out festival for Wacken. People are already buzzing over the 2008 additions of Iron Maiden and Avantasia. Another sellout is almost assured. I'd suggest making your plans now if you plan to attend.

In the days leading up to the festival there was some doubt as to whether the festival grounds could be fixed up in time for the big event.

Here's one of the unsung heroes of the Wacken festival. A ton of hay was spread out daily for the event due to heavy rain the previous week. Without guys like this it would have been a mud fest.

An overhead view of the entire festival grounds. Wacken Open Air Fest basically becomes a mini city with a population of 40,000 plus.

Here's an overhead view of a small section of camping area. This must have been early on ... looks pretty clean down there.

It got a little more packed as time went on. Too close for comfort? Looks like pretty tight quarters to me.

So, you still want to camp? This is part of the aftermath. The odor coming from the camping area was rather revolting, but the diehards say it's the only way to experience Wacken.

Metalheads like their booze. The Franziskaner beer garden at Wacken was packed most of the time.

Mass quantities were consumed at Wacken. This is only one of several areas where beer could be purchased.

Wacken even had a very busy grocery store. They had pretty much everything a camper or festival patron could need. This was pretty much the only place we could find drinking water on the festival grounds.

This is a pic of the festival shirt tent. Just about any band on the fest was represented here. It figures though .. I couldn't find an Amorphis shirt.

An aerial shot of the two main stages. This area was usually pretty packed ... getting up close was a chore. At least the sound is basically great anywhere. There also was a great video screen between the two stages, under the huge horns.

Another great aerial shot of the two main stages .. this time straight on. It seemed I was usually in close proximity to those sound stands. They provided some good shade during the hottest part of the day.

A nice shot of the True Metal stage from ground level.

The famous Wacken Horns !! When they light this up at night it's really a sight to see .. very metal !!

See what I mean .... it's such a cool sight live.

Where's Waldo?? I doubt you can find him in this mass of humanity.

This is a great crowd participation shot .. a fairly common site at the great Wacken Open Air fest.

I saw a lot of this going on ... some successful, some not. I got to lend a helping hand a time or two, but one time I put too much muscle into it and down came the poor fella.

The Weird, and Wacky Wacken Fans & Friends We Met Along The Way

Some people love Wacken so much they add it to their bodies in the form of tattoos.

Here's a Wacken veteran I met ... check out that killer tattoo. I think this was his 8th or 9th Wacken fest.

They start the youngsters early ... this was not an uncommon sight by any means.

It seems this is inspired by not only booze, but also the Simpson's new movie. For those that don't know Spiderschwein translates to Spiderpig in English.

Me, Paula, and Jason soaking in the atmosphere at the Wacken Open Air festival.

A great shot of Jason and Greg ... spirits were very high at this point.

One of the only pictures that was taken of our entire group. From left to right ... Jason, Britt, Paula, and Greg. We were obviously having a lot of fun at this point. Check out the muddy shoes, and feet.

Here's one with some German friends we met. It's easy to make friends at Wacken, especially when everyone has plenty of Germany's finest beer.

Magic has been happening at Wacken for over 17 years. And here's the proof.

We had previously run into these folks at the Headbanger's Ballroom. Greg & Jason had also run into a couple of them previously at Heathen Crusade I. It really is a small world.

Here's one of the whole gang with a friend we met from SPV.

Transformer Man, and Keg Man decided to get together at Wacken. They look like a dynamic duo .. sort of.

There were Trojan Warriors at Wacken ........

.....and also Jesus Christ made an appearance. He could also be found carrying a cross around as well. Some would definately say that Wacken is heaven on Earth.

The food at Wacken was pretty good overall. I believe I had this same item at one point ... mighty tasty.

That's a collection of cups. There's good reason they were collecting them .. they were worth one euro each because of Wacken's deposit policy.

Watch out for the Wacken "Stinkeye" !!

Feeling a bit hot .. just find a Wacken Firefighter to hose you down.

Feeling a bit tired .. just lay down in the hay. This was a fairly common sight, but I could not bring myself to do it knowing full well there was nothing but mud just inches below.

I'm thankful this gal did not find me on Thursday night. I'm pretty sure I would have registered off the charts.

Jagermeister and Red Bull tastes pretty good, but it makes you do some crazy stuff. Just look at yours truly in the back row flashing the horns in a hot tub. I think I missed Saxon during this little escapade.

There was a lot of hay brought in for this affair, and it was inevitable that there would be some hay fighting.

I think there is a body attached to those hands, but at Wacken who can say for sure.

The Bands

"Enslaved" by the perfect weather on the Party Stage. It wasn't always that way .. it was rainy at times, and a little chilly in the evenings.

Saxon might have a lot of years behind them, but they can still get it done in a big way. I personally missed this set (hot tub escapade), but I've been told it was pretty fantastic.

Finish metal veterans Stratovarius thrilled the crowd.

Therion made good use of the large stage. It's quite a production.

How can I put this nicely .... Type O Negative was pretty bizarre. They took long breaks between songs, and goofed off a lot. I prefer a little more professional of a set, but that's me. I got the feeling it was all a part of their act.

Dimmu Borgir took command of the stage with their newer brand of black metal.

Immortal had me frozen a few times with their "Icy Stares". Jason was extremely excited to see these guys. They were his festival highlight.

Lacuna Coil seemed to be on their game. It was a treat to see Christina in the live setting.

Rage & Lingua Mortis Orchestra got a great response from the crowd. This kind of crowd participation was a regular occurance during their set.

Rage & the Lingua Mortis Orchestra doing their thing.

Iced Earth !!! I doubt they ever had a stage production like this before. It was really something .. lights galore, pyro, great sound, etc. It was 1st class all the way.

Here's a closer shot of Iced Earth's Jon Schafer & Tim Owens.

Well, that concludes my Wacken Open Air 2007 festival picture story. I hope this will help you in deciding whether you think this is a trip worth making. As you can see we had a lot of fun along the way, but a trip half way across the world can be pretty gruelling as well. Make sure to get an early start if you plan to attend Wacken 2008. Tickets will sell fast this year with Iron Maiden on the bill, and hotels usually fill up very quickly.

Thanks for reading !!