Wacken Open Air 2006

Spread the metal:

By Brat, Jacobo and Arto
Pics by Brat, Arto and Toni “Eldiablo” Salminen

Brat: It was a year filled with tradition as the 17th Wacken Open Air offered us something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.

Old bands came in from hard and long slogs, reunions and reformations—Scorpions, Mortal Sin, Celtic Frost, Carnivore, Morbid Angel, Ministry and Rose Tattoo.

Organisers introduced a compulsory 15 Euro metal bag filled with handy goodies (a blow up drink holder, raincoat, torch and of course, garbage bag, in a lightweight drawstring bag that doubled as a mini backpack) printed with the longhorn logo in an attempt to reduce the garbage left on the campsite at the end of the festival. In theory, when you returned a filled garbage bag to the depot, 5 Euro was refunded, but somehow our car didn’t seem to receive the mystery token which “authenticated” the garbage, depriving us of our 5 Euro “deposit”. The new overbridge connecting the festival and press areas constantly tested people’s sobriety. If nothing else, my butt and leg muscles got a great workout over the three days.

This year my friends saw the value of hiring a car to travel between Hamburg and Wacken. Without a map and not being able to get any sense of the GPRS which refused to work in English, we took a slightly scenic route, but eventually got to Wacken with ease and in comfort. We stopped in a nearby town to stock up on non-perishable essentials to avoid the hour-long queues in Wacken’s village supermarkets. Driving on the wrong side of the road was quite a test—I put the mechanic (Joey de Maio) behind the wheel of a car worth about AU$80,000. I navigated including making sure we remained on the right (wrong) side of the road while the passengers in the back seat from Poland/UK (Johnny Rodd and his girlfriend Mag) made every attempt to have me arrive at Wacken completely sloshed.

Aussie gold and new: Mick and Steve of Rose Tattoo looking after Wacken virgin Michele of Tourettes Syndrome

After last’s year constant rain, organisers introduced a range of Wacken wet weather gear including gumboots, again printed with the longhorn logo, in preparation for the forecast leading up the festival—rain, rain and more rain. The metal gods smiled upon us this year.