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Rammstein did not come to the village, but Wacken will take place without them | Culture and lifestyle in Germany and Europe | DW

In the German state of Schleswig-Holstein in the village of Wacken after a two year breakcaused by coronavirus infection pandemicopened another festival of heavy metal in the open air Wacken Open Air – the largest in the world.

The festival has been held since 1990. In early August, more than 75,000 heavy music lovers gather in the fields around Wacken. And in 2022, tens of thousands came to the small village not only from Germany, but also from Australia, Mexico, Japan, Israel, South Africa and other countries of the world.

200 groups and tens of thousands of visitors

The village of Wacken, whose population does not exceed 2,000 people, once a year, namely, in early August, gathers more than 85 thousand people on its fields: festival visitors, organizers, media representatives and just curious tourists come to the main festival of hard rock. A grand event is taking place on an area of ​​250 hectares.

Germany’s A23 autobahn now even has a special sign, which is usually installed to designate UNESCO World Heritage Sites, with a picture of the festival’s main stage.

Here is a sign on the German autobahn now points to the world's largest rock festival

It’s hard to drive past: this sign on the German autobahn now points to the world’s largest rock festival

Around 200 bands will perform in Wacken from 4 to 6 August. For the first time on the stage of the world-famous festival – the American nu-metal band Slipknot. The performance was also planned. Rammstein frontman Till Lindemannbut had to be cancelled. However, the audience’s disappointment did not last long, because the festival program promises explosive emotions even without Rammstein: Arch Enemy, Feuerschwanz, Gloryhammer, Therapy?, Hämatom. The audience will also meet with the Finnish hard rock band Lordi, who won the Eurovision Song Contest in 2006.

Wacken without dirt?

On the field around the village of Wacken for the festival, a whole city was erected in a few weeks, called “Holy Ground”. On the “holy land” of Wacken metalworkers, the size of three football fields, pavilions, tents and stages are set up, barriers are stretched out. It often rains heavily during the festival. The visitors, so to speak, accustomed to kneading dirt. The current dry weather has taken its toll. Mass wallowing in the mud will have to be abandoned. But it will be difficult for the organizers to get rid of dirt in general.

Festival visitors bring their own drinks, food and tents

The whole city grows on 250 hectares. After the festival, there are mountains of garbage

Around the venues for open-air concerts, where many thousands of metal parties will come off day and night, there are places for a giant campsite. This grand celebration of hard rock has a downside. Festival visitors traditionally leave a mountain of garbage: furniture, tents, refrigerators. Disposal of this garbage costs the organizers a round sum. Therefore, this year, following the general trend of caring for the environment, the organizers decided to arrange a contest under the hashtag #greenwacken. Visitors to the festival can take a picture of the clean and tidy place left behind and post the photo on Instagram. Prizes await the winners, among which there are tickets to the Wacken Open Air-2023 festival, the sale of tickets for which, by the way, starts immediately after the end of this festival. And tickets are selling out fast!

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