Yet another repost from last year's W:O:A.
This is a continuation of the Wacken report in the three earlier posts. Read those first.
I was up early on Sunday, 7 August, and tore down my tent (packed soaked, like the sleeping bag and everything else), leaving the groundcloth (10 euros at Baumarkt and I didn't want to pack it back wet as it was) for the grounds crew with most of my Cokes by way of apology. This led me to an early bus, an early RV train to Hamburg, and the moderately early train to Dresden in which I sat and originally wrote up this report. Though I hadn't gotten quite back to my front door yet (that happened around 1700), the final thoughs that I ginned up there still stand.
Wacken really is everything advertised, everything it is rumored to be. It is Mecca, it is Utopia, it is a holy and perfect kingdom amid the cows and windmills of Nordfriesland.
A man died at Wacken this year; drank too much and passed out on the access road, where a car ran over and killed him. He left a wife and four children; he was 37. Given the tendencies of this scene, it could well have been any of us; even if you don't drink to the point of passing out, alcohol-slowed reaction times plus bad footing and poor light can easily lead to tragedy. (The festival organizers have a donation account set up for his family, which they jumpstarted with an initial sum of 5000 euro)
But there was at least one marriage proposal made (and hopefully accepted) on the Jumbotron under the cow skull, and there were almost certainly a couple "Helga"s conceived out on the campground over the three nights. (Recent German tradition has it that kids conceived at festivals must be caled Helga -- that's gotta suck for the boys begotten in this fashion.) And despite a total lack of site security on a campground stretching over several square miles, nobody among 30,000 people got virtually any of their stuff ripped off at all. Life is not all tragedy, and metalheads are a lot better people than those who don't interact with us on a regular basis often believe. We drank a lot of beer, we banged our heads, we looked out for each other, and we'll never give a shit what those on the outside think.
Everyone whose pictures I'm in, rock on! Nasty & Amok, schade, dass wir nicht weiter reden koennen. Andy, Lars, et y'allz, see you all next year, unless I get sent to China or something. Those reading this who weren't at the festival, what's your problem, the rain wasn't that bad -- and you're coming next year, right?
NEXT: Part V - Bandratings (Metal Hammer 7-point scale)