We choose to go to Wacken by coach from London and do the hotel package with Argon Events. We had used the company last year for travelling/hotel for Hellfest so were happy to use them again.
Ed. There are other companies, planetmosh do not endorse Argon events
We arrived in Hamburg on the Wednesday lunchtime so had time to explore parts of the city as well as going to the Hard Rock Cafe there. Before heading to Wacken on the Thursday am.
As the coach drove through a few small sleepy villages until we spot the Wacken Tower from afar and we start to see lots of metal heads, entrepreneurial children offering to kart back your supplies for a few euros! As well as town residents operating bars, food stalls in their gardens. It great to see the community getting involved, embracing the festival.
Neil and I had an interesting start to our festival. After being dropped off at the main entrance, we were told we need to head to the other side of Wacken Town to collect our press passes! We managed to get a taxi that dropped us off at the address they were given by the steward and was on our letter, however the check in bit was a lot further up so we decided to walk it instead as the taxi driver wasn’t sure even though stewards said where it was.
Soooo off we went on our expedition and further up a back road until we finally found it, yay! We got there, do the normal British thing – queued up and got the passes no problem. We then headed back down to the VIP/Press entrance and into the festival grounds. This had taken over an hour by this point so we decided to head out into the Wackinger Village to see where everything was and go for a nosy around the stalls etc.
We had a good donder around all the fantastic and varied stalls. A quick trip to the Official Merch stand was first so I could go and buy my Wacken tshirt and hoodie, as like most of the festivals all the merch sells out quickly so got them while they were still in stock! A lot of the items certain sizes had sold out already and some items already complete sold out! We head back out through the campsite to find the main exit/entrance and pick up point so we know how to get back for out coach at the end of the night. By now, we have literally been all over the village and festival site.
We head off to the beer garden for a seat in the sunshine and also a well-deserved drink or two! I was too far down to see the Beer Garden Stage however; I could hear Mambo Kurt perfectly and had fun watching lots of people dancing around to their set. They were playing their own blend of pop/rock style cover versions of songs like Take On Me – A-ha!, Slayer – South of Heaven, SuperMario Bros Theme Song, Chop Suey! – SOAD, Killing in the Name – RATM etc, this helps create the laid back party atmosphere along with the beer!
After that refreshing break, we head up to the VIP/Press area, which involves another trek as the main arena and the bridge to and from VIP has not opened yet. Once we get there, we check out all the stalls, facilities and we stay put until the bridge opens and we can short cut into the main arena.
We headed over to catch the remainder of comedian/singer’s Jim Breuer set. He was very funny turning the children’s song BINGO into a metal tune with help by impersonations of Ozzy Osborne, James Hetfield , Angus Young and Rob Halford . It had the crowd laughing and singing along starting of the afternoon in the sun in great form.
Next up was Sepultura and Les Tambours Du Bronx – Imagine the intensity of Sepultura accompanied by 16 extra drummers in the form of Les Tambours Du Bronx. This I was looking forward to seeing this spectacular performance.
Les Tambours du Bronx starts of the set with Mixture. Before Sepultura join them on stage and they both do Refuse/Resist and Sepulnation, these are sounding stunning. Sepultura take over and the perform Kairos, Mask and Dialog before the drummers rejoin the band for the rest of the set.
It gives a completely new dimension to the Sepultura songs and works fantastically on stage a large stage. The crowd are having a fantastic time and there is a good pit going in the middle.
- Mixture – Les Tambours du Bronx cover
- Refuse/Resist with Les Tambours du Bronx
- Sepulnation with Les Tambours du Bronx
- Kairos – Sepultura
- Mask – Sepultura
- Dialog – Sepultura
- We’ve Lost You – with Les Tambours du Bronx)
- Structure Violence (Azzes) – with Les Tambours du Bronx
- Requiem – Les Tambours du Bronx cover
- Fever – Les Tambours du Bronx cover
- Firestarter – with Les Tambours du Bronx. (Prodigy cover)
- Territory – with Les Tambours du Bronx
- Ratamahatta – with Les Tambours du Bronx
- Roots Bloody Roots – with Les Tambours du Bronx
We catch the start of U.D.O special set to mark the 25th anniversary of U.D.O. Now this was a star-studded spectacular set including an appear from the delectable Doro and in full monster outfit Mr Lordi!
They play a classic range of Accept and U.D.O songs, which went down so well with the fans, they were all rocking out singing along. There was a great atmosphere down there everyone soaking up the songs as well as some rain!
- Screaming for a Love-Bite
- Princess of the Dawn
- Head Over Heels
- Dancing Like An Angel with Doro Pesch
- Animal House*
- Heart of Gold *
- They Want War *
- Break the Rules* also Mr. Lordi
- Man and Machine
- Metal Heart
- The Bogeyman
- Balls to the Wall* with Doro, Andy and Mr. Lordi
* with Andy Susemihl, Mathias Deih, Thomas Smuszynsky, Sven Dirkschneider
We headed up to see the remainder of Drone showcase in the Press Tent. Drone are a German modern thrash metal band and they from what we seen did a superb performance. They had not long released their new album ‘For Torch and Crown’. It was a bit surreal to see Mr. Lordi, UDO and Doro behind them on the big screen ;)
If you like thrash check them out at
We venture over to the Bullhead Circus arena to see Unearth on the WET Stage. We are over to the far side however, we can still see the band tearing up the stage and enticing the crowd to make a huge bit and go wild, not that they needed much prompting!
They play tracks from Endless EP and III: In the Eyes of Fire as well as ‘This Lying World’ from their 2nd album ‘The Oncoming Storm’ sound top notch as does ‘Watch It Burn‘ from their last album ‘Darkness In the Light‘ gets a stunning response from the crowd.
- My Will Be Done
- Arise the War Cry
- This Lying World
- Watch It Burn
- Shadows in the Light
- Eyes of Black
- The Great Dividers
- Black Hearts Now Reign
I had the pleasure of catching up with George from Cherries On A Blacklist for a quick interview about the band and their début album “Lakafigo” To listen to t his interview click here
Check them out
We watched the start of Volbeat’s superbly entertaining set before heading back to the coach pick up point. They played some of the best of their material as well a new song combine this with some special guests in the form of Barney – Napalm Death, Mille Petrova – Kreator & Michael Denner – Mercyful Fate it was going to be a great finish to the first day.
The kicked off with Motorhead’s ‘Born To Raise Hell‘ and ‘The Human Instrument‘ the crowd were lapping it up. As the worked their way through their huge set they kept the crowd entertained and Michael kept asking the crowd to ‘Bring the Noise’ which they did! ‘Evelyn’ with Barney from Napalm Death on vocals was a treat and to see such a mass of people singing along having a great time must be gratifying.
- Born To Raise Hell (Motörhead song)
- The Human Instrument
- Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood
- Another Day, Another Way
- Sad Man’s Tongue
- A Moment Forever / Hallelujah Goat
- Mary Ann’s Place
- Who They Are
- Seven Shots with Mille Petrozza from Kreator on vocals, Michael Denner from Mercyful Fate on guitar
- Heaven nor Hell
- 16 Dollars
- Radio Girl
- Sweet Unicorns
- Evelyn with Barney from Napalm Death on vocals
- The Mirror and the Ripper
- A Warrior’s Call
- I Only Want to Be with You (Dusty Springfield cover)
- Pool of Booze, Booze, Booza
- Still Counting
- Raining Blood (Slayer cover) (instrumental outro)
To view Neil’s pictures that he took at Wacken click here