In 1990, in a small, German, picturesque town called Wacken, a metal festival was held for the first time. Local bands played and beer was consumed. Starting August 3rd 2008, 70.000 tickets were sold out by December 30th 2008, for the biggest annual metal open air festival in the world, which takes place at the beginning of August... in (a sunken in alcohol) Wacken. In other words, 70.000 tickets were sold over 200 days before the opening of the 2009 festival.
This year, it is estimated that over 80.000 people from all over the world went on a metal pilgrimage for the exalted purpose of seeing Immortal, Slayer, Motley Crue, Cannibal Corpse, Alice Cooper, 1349, Stratovarius, Arch Enemy, Iron Maiden and W.A.S.P. perform among dozens of thrash, black, death, gothic and folk metal bands, in the three main Wacken stages and the various, scattered around the festival grounds, smaller ones.
We were there.
On August 4th, we arrived in Berlin. From there, we travelled by train to Hamburg.
My friendship with the American douchebag, which was among other things based on me not farting and him not scratching his balls in the presence of each other, had grown; in whatever situations we had gotten ourselves into, we were both equally liked and disliked for the same reasons. Our retardation was coordinated and we had become a perfectly synchronised travelling orchestra of douchebaggery. However, due to audaciously burning the candle at all surfaces and ends, we had started sneezing and coughing with disturbing frequency. We paid no attention, because we were young and beautiful. Of course that was soon to change...
The Most Impressive Route To A Hostel Room Ever
Upon arriving in Hamburg, our first mission was ,apart from mourning for the outrageous amount of money we spent on the train tickets, to locate our hostel.
The thing with that hostel is that even though we were being lazy until the last minute (which was when we booked it), the price was decent so we kinda expected a Tarantino twist during our stay there. Well, no Bills were killed, (in fact, I'll be damned if I ever heard a breathing soul in the rooms next to ours), but one had to pull a Scoffield in order to get in or out of there. I don't know what the hell architecture that is called, but it was the kind where you had to go up, down (!), turn left and right on different level corridors and accidentally end up in your room (to which an antechamber identical with all others in there, lead to). Neither of us got lost but I always half expected to see a tombstone somewhere during the ten minute walk from the hostel entrance to our room, since I was pretty convinced someone must have died of old age in that ridiculous route.
August 5th -first day of W.O.A.
I woke up around seven in the morning and shortly after started getting poked by various body parts of my company. I wasn't in the mood to retaliate or even talk. I was too hot for him...
I was burning with fever.
In slow motion and with stingy movements, I made myself a blanket igloo and buried myself in it. I passed out and woke up around 11.
According to my theory about illness, there are five stages:
- You know, but can afford ignoring.
- You know and can not afford ignoring anymore.
- You start looking unsexy.
- You don't care about how you look.
When I regained consciousness, I was in stage 3.5 . Apart from having a high temperature, I was also coughing out fragments of my soul.
The less sick douchebag was looking at me. He looked kinda worried. I looked kinda dying. He asked if I wanted anything and suggested I rest under a mountain of blankets, so that my body temperature would rise. I did that. He asked if I wanted anything to eat/drink. I decided to postpone dying and asked for something hot to drink and if possible, an apple. I passed out again.
Our internal labyrinth of a hostel was located in the industrial zone of Hamburg, very far away from anywhere where you could spend money buying anything, edible or not. Douchebag American doesn't speak German and the Germans there didn't speak douchebaggian English. The weather had been as miserable as a sock with a toe hole -cold, windy and cloudy and it was early August ffs- ever since we set our foot on German soil, but to top it all off it started pouring when the apple quest had already began.
I was unaware of the latter, until I regained consciousness once more, only to see a couple of apples on the bed next to me and someone soaking wet in the background.
[Semi-Lich] : ... (!) O.O
He never commented on APPLE: Mission Impossible, and I never asked.
He did however ask if perhaps I wanted to rest and start going to the festival the following day. My idiotic yet spirited response was "HELL, NO. You came all the way here for Wacken and we are going there no matter what." So, a couple of hours later we were, gawkily but determined, on our way to the highly anticipated climax of our vacation.. and the beginning of its ending.
Things to know about Wacken...
1. The festival grounds are surrounded by woods and nice-green-stuff-we-don't-give-a-shit-about-because-metal-music-can-be-heard-growing-louder-and-louder-as-one-humbly-approaches-the-Holy-Wacken-Land.
3. Santa Claus exists and so does santa metal.
4. Everyone in Wacken has boobs.
5. If you pass out, you die.
6. Everything goes.
7.There's lots of fantastically useless shit you can buy, so be loaded.
9. If you're not sure about what to do, you might as well hump a mechanical bull.
10. Eat with a metal fork, cause Jesus loves you anyway.
In the next episode:
-running around naked on rooftops and possible trauma for those who witnessed it.
-what happens when we end up broke, hungry and sick in the middle of nowhere, at nighttime, with no means of transportation.
-W.O.A. 2010 bands.
Wacken 2010, Part I -DoSu10' by The Schismarch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Greece License.
Wacken 2010, Part I -DoSu10' by The Schismarch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Greece License. -All photos (except for the aerial one), are mine & by me (except for the bull-riding ones obviously).