Wacken heavy metal open air festival takes off | Music | DW | 02.08.2018
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Wacken heavy metal open air festival takes off

The 29th edition of Germany's top open air heavy metal festival is fully sold out. Rain or shine, Wacken gives fans a break from their regular lives and a time-out for some outdoor heavy metal.

Watch video 26:00

PopXport Special: Wacken Open Air 2018

Metal fans have been looking forward to this event for the past 360 days – Wacken Open Air, a Mecca for metal heads out to enjoy a week of music, partying and beer.

Construction of the gigantic stages and everything else needed for a mega festival started last week in preparation for 75,000 metal heads ready to celebrate their favorite bands. Starting on Thursday, bands are rocking the infield area from huge stages named "Faster," "Harder" and "Louder." Campers started arriving on Tuesday, and a few live bands played the smaller stages on Wednesday.

What a lineup

Headliners include Danzig, Judas Priest, Hatebreed, In Flames, Running Wild, Arch Enemy, In Extremo and Eskimo Callboy.

Wacken veteran Doro Pesch will be performing several times, and as a special gimmick for Germans, 70-year-old comedian Otto Waalkes will be onstage to fulfill his lifelong dream of playing the world's biggest metal festival. He and his Friesenjungs (Friesian Boys) band aim to show the nation that he can do more than strum the guitar and crack jokes.

band, seated (DW/S. Wünsch)

Wednesday's openers: The Wacken Firefighters

As always, Wacken Firefighters, the trusty local fire brigade band, "officially" opened the program on Wednesday with brass versions of famous rock classics, followed by a first highlight, metal veterans Sepultura from Brazil. The lineup also includes Nazareth and bands that were popular in