Heart of Steel: Concert Reviews

Like An Ever-Flowing Stream
Wacken Open Air 2003

By Michael De Los Muertos
Pictures and Commentary by ICE MAIDEN

 

Saturday, August 2, 2003

My second day at Wacken didn't start out well. At breakfast at the hotel I met up with PsychoBall, a friend from the Disgruntled Metalheads message board. He'd come all the way from Australia to see Wacken, and I decided to take the shuttle bus to the festival site with PsychoBall and his girlfriend. Unfortunately we waited almost an hour in front of the shuttle stop and the bus never came. We joined forces with a British metalhead who'd also been waiting for a ride, and got into a cab with a wizened old driver who couldn't have been less than 75 years old. He put the pedal to the metal and gave us one of the most hair-raising taxi rides I've ever had in my life. We were doing 110 miles an hour if we were standing still!

After this white-knuckle experience, there followed a very long trek through the main Wacken camp site. I always love seeing the camp, populated by metalheads of so many nationalities flying their flags and playing their music. Unfortunately it was getting even hotter. Of the three days of Wacken, Saturday was the warmest. But despite the various tribulations, I arrived at the True Metal stage midway through the THYRFING set, and I'm certainly glad I did. These traditional Viking metallers are finally starting to enjoy the good reputation that they deserve. Mixing pounding, punishing metal with some (retooled) traditional Scandinavian musical elements, these maniacs spat forth a pretty impressive set of meaty, guitar-heavy stuff. The energy level was very high and, despite sweltering in the heat and baking in the direct sunlight, the fans responded very well. Thyrfing performed while smeared in fake blood--in fact the day before I noticed the lead singer of the band, half his face covered in blood, standing in the crowd near me watching one of the bands. At the end of the set they tossed several plastic cups full of faux hemoglobin into the crowd. One impacted on the ground barely two feet away from me and splattered spectacularly. For the rest of the day it looked like I'd been an innocent bystander at an ax murder.

(Ice Maiden's Commentary: I really wanted to get to site in time to see THRYFING, but, unfortunately, it was not to be. As I sat in the hotel breakfast room, whom did I see at the table next to me but all but one of the members of Twisted Sister. Damn, Dee Snider looks like a very typical (and large) New Yorker out of his make-up! One of the Finns had told me that he was an enormous fan of TS, so I went and introduced myself and asked if they would autograph the only thing I had available (a hotel napkin with "Guten Morgen!" written across it) for Otto. They were happy to oblige. After talks with them and then more chit chat with the Evidence One guys, I realized I needed to hightail it if I wanted to catch TWISTED TOWER DIRE.)

It was very hot, but I was determined to see MALEVOLENT CREATION, who went on the Black Metal Stage immediately after Thyrfing finished. I've seen these down-home American deathsters before, once at the now-defunct Satyricon club in Portland, and recalled being very impressed. This time, however, they didn't do that much for me. Technically competent and unfailingly brutal, they just didn't seem to push the energy level that high, and I didn't detect a lot of enthusiasm coming either from them or the crowd. But, certainly they know their stuff and do it well, because it was definitely thick, caustic, very traditional and savage death metal.

 

Malevolent Creation was playing at the same time as another band on the Party Stage, that being TWISTED TOWER DIRE. Ice Maiden really wanted to see them and so did I, so I quit the Black Stage and wandered over to where these American power metal icons were in mid-performance. TTD has been a constant supporter of Metal-Rules, and although I don't know anybody in the band, Ice Maiden does. Nonetheless, while others in our party seemed to really enjoy their set, in my own opinion I did not care for it. They played very standard, no-frills power/traditional metal and despite my passion for that genre I couldn't get excited about it. TTD ended with a cover of Iron Maiden's "Moonchild," which I think was a little more than this band could handle. The vocals just didn't fit, and the tightness and well-oiled-machine quality that Iron Maiden brings to the tune just couldn't be replicated. I expect the other Metal-Rules writers to disagree with me regarding the Twisted Tower Dire set, and they are at full liberty to do so. I just wasn't impressed.

(Ice Maiden's Commentary: I love TWISTED TOWER DIRE. I think the "Isle of Hydra" is an incredible album, and this relatively new, old-school-style band, along with Jag Panzer, seem like some of the best classic-style metal that America is currently offering. Tony Taylor, on vocals, actually came across to me better live than he does on the albums. Scott Waldrop and Dave Boyd on guitar really know how to shred. I was pleased with the set, until the last song, the Maiden cover. Doh! Not quite the right call, guys. Still, all-in-all, a great performance-I think we can expect more great things from these guys in the future.)

   
 

 

 

Backstage again--with, guess who!--the Finns. Saturday afternoon presented an unusual lull on the Wacken bill, with not that many bands playing that were particularly interesting; however, after lunch and some more beers, several of the Imperium writers decided to make another attempt at the Wet Stage, this time to see CALLENISH CIRCLE, a newer Dutch band that focuses mostly on a thrash style. I went with Niko, one of the Imperium reporters, and we ventured to the Wet Stage. Sadly, conditions there were even worse than they'd been the day before. A huge crowd had gathered for Callenish Circle, too many to fit in the tent, and because we approached after the set had begun we were forced to stand just outside one of the doorways. Even standing there, the heat coming out of the Wet Stage tent was literally like a blast furnace. I wouldn't be surprised if it was 105 degrees in the tent. We could endure about two songs of Callenish Circle, which were very good and catchy, but from where we were standing the acoustics were not good so I don't even feel very comfortable trying to review them. Finally the heat drove us away yet again. I really believe the Wacken management should think about making the Wet Stage an open-air stage. There's no reason whatsoever to have it inside a tent, and to ask the bands to perform in a 105-degree sweatbox filled with cigarette smoke on a weekend that has been (on more than one occasion) the hottest of the year seems almost cruel. Thus, having missed two bands I wanted to see because of heat conditions on the Wet Stage, my main suggestion for Wacken 2004 is: TAKE THE WET STAGE OUT OF THE DAMN TENT!

I lost Niko at the merchandise booth, but met up with none other than Francesco and Cristiano, the bassist and vocalist, respectively, of Stormlord and both writers for Rock Hard Italy magazine. They were front and center for CARPATHIAN FOREST, the next band I saw. The Finns were very enthusiastic about this band, but the Italians thought they were a joke. Having seen them I tend to agree with the Italians. Carpathian Forest plays old style Norwegian cold-as-ice black metal, and they did so with aplomb. However, they looked and acted absolutely ridiculous. Didn't anybody tell them that corpse paint tends to melt in 90-degree heat? With all of that black and white stuff running down their faces and dripping onto their spiked gauntlets, bullet belts and leather straps, they looked like a cadre of BDSM fanatics that had each taken a mushy York Peppermint Patty right to the kisser. The guitarist, who weighed close to 300 pounds, pulling down his pants to expose his butt on the big-screen monitor between the stages was another (non) winning moment. What were these guys thinking? I had the vague sense that the entire Carpathian Forest set was a tongue-in-cheek self-parody, but of course traditional black metal must be totally serious at all times, so this can't have been the case. Anyway, maybe I got the point and maybe I didn't. I gave up the ghost midway through and retired backstage to the press tent.

(Ice Maiden's Commentary: About this time I ran into the Royal Carnage crew again. Markgugs was covered in "blood" from head-to-toe. Although he had a smile on his face, with the amount we had all been drinking I wasn't sure that he wasn't wounded. Nah-he was another "fatality" of Thryfing. I found CARPATHIAN FOREST amusing. Between rants about their "homosexual bandmember" who was apparently late, the vomiting, and the ass-exposing, these guys were kind of fun. I had always thought of them as sort of grim, serious, frost-bitten North types-I guess not.)

 

One of the bands staying in our hotel, and whom we'd partied with at the hotel bar, was a relatively newer German band called EVIDENCE ONE. They teed up on the Party Stage at 3:15--now approaching the hottest hour of this very hot day--and gave quite a memorable performance. They played straightforward, catchy, hard-rock influenced traditional metal, coming off as one of the truly fun, light-hearted, feel-good bands of the festival. They had a surprising amount of very enthusiastic support from the crowd, and it didn't matter what they played--there were fists pumping in the air and horns thrusting skyward throughout every song. These guys, all having come from other bands, are obviously seasoned professionals and knew exactly what they were doing. For forty-five cheerful minutes Evidence One made us forget about the blazing heat, and that wasn't an easy task on Saturday.

(Ice Maiden's Commentary: I was up into the wee hours drinking in our hotel bar with the band and crew of EVIDENCE ONE. This "All Star" project has members of Domain, Frontline, and Shakra (none of which I had previously hear of), including the doe-eyed Thomas "Hutch" Bauer on bass and what turned out to be an incredible Rami Ali on drums. Because I had met the guys the night before, I figured I'd check them out. Incredibly, they lit the Party Stage on fire with their Rock 'n' Roll-style of classic metal. At first, there was only a very small crowd (I think few others had heard of them, either). By the end of the set, the field behind the Party Stage was full and folks were cheering madly. Excellent set, and I got a signed drum stick at the end! Woohoo! I felt like a groupie at an '80s show, and, given the respective ages of me and the band members, we could have been just that!



 

 

I caught the first bit of EIDOLON, the Canadian power metal band. Although my initial reaction was good, my feet were starting down the slippery slope into the valley of pain that is Wacken on the third day. I decided to head back stage and find the Finns' tent. There, Little Miss Blood Bath and crew gave me drinks, snacks and hilarious conversation. If you want to have some fun, hang out with Finns-they are insane. From the backstage area I could hear the strains of DARK FUNERAL, but decided I had better save my energy for the afternoon that was yet to come.)


 

The next band I saw was not one I had really been meaning to see, but once again I met up with friends from the Disgruntled Metalheads board and went with them to the Black Metal Stage to hear SOILWORK. I haven't ever been a tremendous fan of this band although some songs are pretty catchy, but I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. What I heard I didn't particularly like. Soilwork does have a disturbingly mallcore-ish quality to them (editor's note: You are on crack! I love Soilwork!! :P), and it really didn't sit well with me or many others in the overwhelmingly traditional-metalhead Wacken crowd. Also, strangely enough their technical set-up was flawed. The vocals sounded very muddy and the guitars were distorted. I could hear static on the PA system and there were a few technical flubs during Soilwork's set. After four Wackens it's been my experience that it's extremely rare at this festival to have sound/technical problems that rise to the level of being discernible by the audience, much less negatively affecting a band's set. Perhaps Soilwork was victimized by a poor sound set-up, or perhaps they just sucked. In any event this set was one of the few real clinkers at Wacken.

 

 

As with the day before, on Saturday I had to pace myself because of the conditions. I was now not too far from dehydration and heat exhaustion, and desperately needed to sit down backstage for a while. I found that Ice Maiden, Viking God and the entire motley crew of Finns--which had multiplied during the day!--had colonized a table in the central part of the backstage area. We ate, had some beers and traded notes on the bands we'd seen for the past two days. Finally as the heat began to abate there was discussion of returning to the stages for the evening's final bands. Two beers later I was good as new and ready for more.

I'm surprised KATAKLYSM was relegated to the Party Stage. They seem like a band that has enough clout to be able to play one of the main stages. They could certainly perform well enough to. These Canadians gave us a grinding, ultra-brutal re-education in the finer points of death metal. Their music has a great moody quality to it as well as being traditionally brutal, and their style came across very well even in a live setting. Very impressive set.

On the Black Stage, DARK FUNERAL was the next noteworthy entry on the bill. I'd seen them before when they opened for Manowar in the spring of 2002, and this time I don't think they did as well. I keep wanting to refer to them as "black metal lite." Yes, it's got enough traditional trappings to still be "true" black metal, at least in the opinion of some, but it seemed diluted to a certain extent by what bordered on catchiness and groove-type elements. This is not necessarily a criticism, but just an explanation of why I don't think Dark Funeral belongs in the same box as purer bands like Immortal. Nonetheless like most black metal bands I think Dark Funeral does better in a club setting than at a big festival. Their sound and energy was just too scattered to really command a crowd of multi-thousands, and while the exact same set would bring down the house at a small indoor venue, they were dwarfed by the enormity of Wacken all around them. Maybe this is an unfair review, but it's how they came off to me.

(Ice Maiden's Commentary: Back to the Wet Stage to catch ANCIENT RITES. This was another band that I was REALLY looking forward to, and one which I'm sure I won't have the chance to see again in the near future. I've had "Dim Carcosa" on repeat in my CD player since it came out, so I was quite excited. BLARGH. Of course, I couldn't get into the tent or even see inside where the band was. And the tent sides even muffle the sound of the band-accordingly, I can't comment on the band, but I will say for the bazillionth time that the WET STAGE MUST BE BANISHED FROM WACKEN.)

 

The next set was one of the ones I had been looking forward to most: STRATOVARIUS. The last time these Finnish power metal gods played Wacken, in 2000, a pyrotechnic blew up in Timo Koltipelto's hand and seriously injured him, although he managed to finish the show. This time Stratovarius seemed more relaxed and certainly as if they understood and enjoyed their larger and more popular stature. Playing favorites like "Black Diamond" and "Hunting High And Low," naturally the crowd was completely into them. With the temperature finally falling and dusk beginning to settle over Wacken, it was very easy to slip into the haze of metal-addled mania that comes with the very best Wacken performances. I loved all of Stratovarius, although I do confess the set didn't seem to have quite as much energy as they did when they played in 2000. Everyone in the crowd was acutely aware that this may be Stratovarius's last performance for quite a while--or possibly forever. Wacken was the final date on Stratovarius's European tour, and they will be on a hiatus for at least a little while. Somehow after their lackluster last album I have a feeling that temporary break may be longer than people expect. I don't count on seeing Stratovarius again for a long, long time, so I definitely got my fill of them on this evening, and they pulled off one of the better sets of the festival.

(Ice Maiden's Commentary: I have to agree that Strat was more "mellow" than the previous times I've seen them. They are, however, incredible performers, and "Visions" and "Against the Wind" were high points for me.)




 

After Stratovarius retired I faced one of the few agonizing moral choices of the festival: should I see Nile on the Black Stage, or Sinner on the Party Stage? I decided to do both, but after I came back from an unsuccessful attempt to dart backstage for a few minutes--Slayer was doing their meet-and-greet, and their private security guards had the entire festival grounds tied in knots--I found the Party Stage closer so I went there first. SINNER turned out to be another one of my favorite sets. This very traditional German band, blessed with the wonderful talents of Mat Sinner, treated the Party Stage crowd to a memorable assault of powerful steel. Sinner's vocals were right-on and the guitar sound was exceptionally crisp. As usual, the crowd was populated mostly by Sinner die-hards, and the response for this band was exceptional. The only problem during this set was the "noise bleeding" from the Black Stage, where Nile competed for attention. I hated to give up Sinner midway through, but I definitely wanted to see one of the best death metal bands in the world today, so I wandered back to the Black Stage.

 

I must have stayed at Sinner longer than I anticipated, for sadly I only caught the last few minutes of NILE. Once again I wished I would have seen more of the set! I've seen Nile twice before and thought each time that the nuances of their sound are so fragile that it's difficult for them to come across as well to a live crowd as they do on their carefully-constructed studio albums. However, this performance at Wacken was probably the strongest live show I've seen from them. As you might expect their hyper-technical style presented an almost impenetrable wall of sound, but it's around the "edges" of the sound where good death metal makes its mark and I perceived those nuances much better than I expected to at a large open-air festival. The Nile guys were naturally going crazy, molesting their guitars and beating the holy bejeezus out of the drums. I heard only about two songs of Nile before they were done. Too bad! Hopefully one of the other Metal-Rules writers caught more of the set than I did; I confess I was "Sinning" (pun intended) during most of Nile.

By this time in the evening I was starting to fail physically, with my back very sore and the rest of my body wrung-out and exhausted from battling the heat for the better part of three days. However almost every person who came to Wacken was beginning to assemble around the True Metal Stage for the ultimate headliners of the festival--the almighty SLAYER. There was no way I could not be there! Actually by this point I'd been having Slayer-related problems for much of the day. Their vast private security army apparently demanded--and received--different treatment than all the other bands at Wacken. For example, when two of the members of Slayer were in the press tent, the entire tent was closed and cordoned off to anyone who did not have a specific appointment to meet them. No other band did this--earlier in the day I had walked right into the middle of the Rage press conference, and there was no problem. When the Slayer guys went to the meet-and-greet area, their guards blocked off the entrance to the backstage area for a brief time. I understand they're one of the biggest metal bands in the world, but something about this rankles me. There were dozens of other bands on the bill at Wacken, and press representatives from all over the world, all with jobs to do, stories to file, pictures to take and places to go. What gives Slayer's people the right to disrupt everything? I've never had these kind of problems at Wacken before, and I hope they aren't repeated. Come on, guys. We love you, and there probably are people out there who hate you whom you should be careful about, but when it comes to Wacken we're all in this together.

Slayer also took the stage late--something no other band at Wacken did. The energy building up to their opening number was, predictably, like a volcano about to explode, and the fury that erupted when they finally came on stage was formidable. It was quite something to hear Tom Araya's tortured matter-of-fact shout soaring over the raging Wacken crowd, especially during "War Ensemble," an early entry in the set which happens to be my favorite Slayer song of all time. They also spent some time on their newest album, God Hates Us All, but gave a fair number of nods to the old stuff that probably most of the crowd wanted to hear. Guitar work was perfect, and the drumming, as you might imagine, was almost inhuman. The reason why Slayer are so good is because it's almost impossible for them to slip up. After 20 years of scorching the world with their blistering, attacking form of hyperspeed thrash metal, they know how to give a show, even at a huge venue like Wacken. However I think they may know a little too well. Slayer have never been known for their crowd interaction, but tonight's performance, technically exceptional and emotionally walloping as it was, seemed even more aloof and disconnected from the audience than the one previous time I saw Slayer in the summer of 2000. Indeed just watching Araya and company it seemed to them that this performance was "just another day at the office." Their music was extremely powerful, but there wasn't a lot of energy coming from them as performers. Don't mistake this as a bad review of the Slayer set--but I do believe there was a missed opportunity. Arguably the biggest metal band on the planet, playing the biggest metal festival on the planet, should have milked it for all it was worth. Where was the shouting, the interplay with the audience, the focusing of all that incredible amount of energy that was burning off from the mosh pit and the rest of the crowd? Why weren't King and Hanneman stomping around like utter maniacs? Why was Tom Araya just standing there for the whole time? Slayer was a pretty powerful firecracker, but it might have been a nuclear explosion. I just thought they could have put more into it.

Alas I could not finish out the Slayer set. My back was in intolerable agony.

(Ice Maiden's Commentary: My plan was to catch the beginning of NILE, then go back to the Party Stage for SINNER. For some reason, Nile chose to use virtually no lights, so my efforts to take pictures failed. I had recently seen NILE in a smaller venue, where I could get up close and really hear them. This time I was really caught up in the crowd and after the first few songs that I watched from the photo pit, I realized that I had better find my place for Slayer if I wanted to see them at all. Snaking my way through the crowd, I ran into ChiefB, Markgugs and their friends. They took turns leaving to bring back drinks for the rest of us. I realized that there was NO WAY to go up front to take pictures and then push back into position to watch, so I decided to just stay put and enjoy myself.

Momentum really built for SLAYER-who, in true prima donna fashion, were late to start their set. This was perhaps the first time I saw a late set at Wacken. That said, I didn't really care. The Royal Carnage crew are awesome, fun folks, and we started getting a bit blitzed while we waited. And waited. Soon, Markgugs and I started begging for someone to remove our legs at the knees to relieve us from the pain of standing. The torment was so painful as to be funny. Still, there was no way to sit down, as we were being pressed in by literally 32,000 people arranged around us. We weren't going ANYWHERE. And I mean that when I say it-Markgugs actually ended up having to…er…relieve himself in his empty beer cup (I told you I'd include it, buddy!).

It was all worth it. Yes, Slayer were late and apparently full of themselves. Yes, there were apparently some sound difficulties on one side of the stage. Yes, the music wasn't as loud as it could have been. I didn't care. SLAYER were true to their name. Playing virtually all of "Reign in Blood", I found myself screaming along with literally everyone else through favorites like "Dead Skin Mask" and "South of Heaven." It was a Supreme Metal Moment. One of those times when you realize how lucky you are to enjoy something, and to be able to enjoy it with thousands of people who feel the same way. Anything I could say about this set would seem like hyperbole, so I'm not going to bother. This was all about arm-in-arm, bang-your-head, balls out metal in the middle of a field in Germany, and I enjoyed every minute of it.

By the end of the set, I was wiped. Physically and emotionally, I think I was done. Markgugs literally dragged ChiefB and I to see SONATA ARCTICA. If I was going to stay for anything, I wanted it to be VADER. However, that afternoon I had hung out with the Finn who is the Japanese Manager for SA, who, it appears, came up with their strange name-apparently, he was looking for a word that captured their classical training and instrumental technicality, as well as their Northern roots. Sorry, but I still think it is a silly name. ;) In any case, ChiefB and I passed out on the grass in front of the Party Stage for about two songs before we realized we'd had enough. Definitely time to go backstage and hang out.)

I went backstage to recuperate, and saw the telltale signs of Wacken winding down--the last parties backstage, bars beginning to run out of drinks, and the now-stifling reek of the boggy marshes that had been made of the grassy areas near all the fences where people had been pissing for the past three days. It was now actually chilly, as the nights tend to be at Wacken. Nevertheless despite my fatigue I wasn't going to miss VADER. After the climax of the Slayer set I ventured forth one more time to catch the Polish death metallers in rare form. Ironically Vader was the very first band I ever saw at any Wacken, in 2000, and tonight it was my last. It was a shame that more people weren't gathered around the Black Metal Stage to watch them; perhaps everyone was just getting too tired. Their set was amazing! Grinding, gut-churning and utterly toxic, played with a tremendous amount of energy and enthusiasm, these Poles knew they were among the very last acts of a great festival and they wrung everything they could get out of the experience. By now it was dark and the flickering of the monitor screen, the play of the stage lights and the flames from the ignited cow's-head logo above the stages was casting an eerie bluish-orange light over the rubble-strewn remains of the Wacken field. I watched Vader and headbanged for as long as I could stand it. Finally there was nothing else to do. Vader finished and I trudged backstage to rejoin my party.

There was, of course, one last party at Wacken. We, the Metal-Rules people, and the Finns must have partied until three AM, downing our last drinks together and hashing over what we'd seen and experienced. When we finally parted from them, the trip home proved to be particularly excruciating. For some random reason the Wacken police had closed off the street leading back to Itzehoe through the Wacken village. We wound up literally in a cornfield several towns away from Wacken and did not make it back to our hotel until dawn was beginning to paint the sky. By then I was too tired to care. Wacken was over for another year, and there remained only the pictures, the review, and the glorious memories of three days of skull-crushing metal madness.

(Ice Maiden's Commentary: The party Saturday night was actually one of the highlights of the Wacken experience. Large groups of us gathered, including one guy who called himself a "professional festival fence-jumper", who apparently spends his free time trying to get in free to large festivals. He looked like he was going to hide behind me when one of the "Metal Guard", the security guards for Wacken, came over to our table-but the guard was off duty and just coming to share a drink with us. It wasn't long before tables were trying to out-sing each other to "We're Not Gonna Take It", and our table formed an all-male kick line. Herman Li, guitarist for DragonForce with his ultra-long hair, brought us a bottle of vodka and he and I started doing imitations of "Cousin It." It was actually about 4:30 am before we headed out, and, even then, no one was really ready for the party to end. A big, big set of hails to the Finns, the Royal Carnage crew, Herman, etc. PERKELE!)

 

In a way, experiencing Wacken in memory is the best way to do it. The heat doesn't seem as unbearable, your feet don't hurt as much as they did in real life, and the tribulations you invariably endured to get here (and to get home) seem trivial by comparison to the wonders you experienced. My mind is now cluttered with glorious remnants of metal songs and performances, great bands, good friends, good times and happiness, and as the festival fades in time it begins to crystallize into the indelible glory of one of those great times you'll remember forever. I say without hesitation that the four times I've been to Wacken all rank among the most fondly-remembered experiences of my life. Standing there, so many thousands of miles from home, listening to one of your favorite bands in the middle of a huge crowd of metalheads from all over the world who can share your wonder and awe at being there--I can think of few other situations I'd rather be in. Wacken is over for now, but the metal flows forever onward into the future--like an ever-flowing stream.

(Ice Maiden's Commentary: Next year is Wacken's 15th Anniversary, and special events are already being planned. See you all at Wacken 2004!

Here is a little bit of interesting information provided by the Wacken organizers regarding the logistics of this year's event:

n      1000 people staff built up a 100 acre festival site in less than two weeks

n      There were 500 security guards, 200 medics, 50 police officers and 4 fire brigades

n     The Wacken crew set up 15,000 m fence, hung 5,000 view covers and blocked in addition still 1,300 m stage and inlet lattices. 500 signs attached and 450m emergency routes were built

n      The steelhands built the 4 stages from 100 tons of steel , 70 generators produced the same electricity needed for a small town

n      There were 350 mobile toilets and 380 fully-flushable toilets

n      45,000 rolls of toilet paper were used, not counting all that brought their own

n      There were 300 showers and 50 washbasins resulting in 120.000 m³ of waste water that had to be disposed of

n      7000 crew meals were prepared and eaten in two catering areas

n     There were 61 bands, requiring 500 hotel reservations and 300 shuttle travels with altogether 8 shuttle vehicles. But the W:O:A vehicle park had to offer still some more. 5 Nightliner, 3 fork-lift trucks, 4 wheel loaders; 2 jeeps, 2 pick-ups, 1 touring bus, 2 tractors, 3 trucks, 2 recovery vehicles, 2 General German Automobile Association vehicles and 8 toilet suction cars were 24 hours at work. And in two days they picked up garbage , which filled 40 trucks

n      There was for the first time a video wall between the two main stages, 4 LED´s for permanent information and a lot of visitors got their information by cellphone.

n      Evidently, there were no major incidents.

Hails to the Wacken organizers!