Festival visitors frustrated with the new approach – “Unacceptable”

Heavy metal fans at Wacken Festival 2022.

Heavy metal fans at Wacken Festival 2022.Image: imago-images / Dirk Jacobs

Heavy metal fans have been partying together again since Thursday at the popular Wacken Open Air in the small village in the Steinfurt district of Schleswig-Holstein. Because of the corona pandemic, the festival had to be canceled for two years, so the visitors are all the more enthusiastic about the comeback and celebrate to the music of Slipknot, the Höhnern and many other bands.

75,000 tickets sold, sold out. Wacken is considered the largest heavy metal festival in the world. For the first time this year, operators are opting for cashless payment instead of coins and bills. In addition, ribbons with plastic chips will be issued, which can be used to pay on the festival site.

A Wacken participant disguised as a zombie.

A Wacken participant disguised as a zombie.Image: dpa / Frank Molter

Long queues – angry Wacken fans

The organizers of the Wacken Festival wrote on Facebook on Thursday evening that there would be long queues and waiting times at the band issue. There are complaints from the revelers on the various social media channels of the Wacken Festival.

A user writes on Facebook:

“Compared to previous years, the organization is unreasonable in many parts! (…).”

On Instagram, a festival-goer said: “Four hours to be guided around Wacken, 45 minutes to wait at the campsite because there are no stewards to show you around.Another comment says: “I had to wait more than three hours for my band (…), but since you can’t even get water unless you have a bottle with you, without a band it was really an impertinence .”

Electronic payments were made at the festival for the first time this year.

Electronic payments were made at the festival for the first time this year. picture: imago images / dirk jacobs

Festival operator apologizes

Many more angry and disappointed complaints rain down on the Wacken organizers. But other Wacken fans also protect them. A visitor points out on Facebook, for example, that long queues can also form at other festivals.

At the request of the “picture“-A festival operator writes in the newspaper that the long waiting times were caused by the fact that “The coordination of the responsible personnel apparently did not work optimally.” He continues: “We apologize for this and regret that some fans were not able to enjoy the first day as usual.”

One of the festival’s co-founders also admits that not everything went smoothly. At first there was a bit of a traffic jam on Wednesday, but after a two-year break the team “jerked a bit and we were also a bit too slow with the tape issue”., says Thomas Jensen of the German Press Agency. We would like to apologize for that.

Heavy metal fans have fun at Wacken

Despite the sometimes long waiting times, the metal fans – once they have arrived on the premises – don’t let it spoil their mood. They share their impressions on social media. A metal fan shows how music lovers are woken up after the short nights in a tent: by a bagpipe player. “Finally being woken up nicely (…)”, he thinks.

Another festival attendee posted a video on Twitter showing what happens at Wacken at night. The video shows people, two of whom are walking around the site in dinosaur costumes.

Police on site

The police in Schleswig-Holstein also provide regular updates from their operations on the festival grounds. They also provide useful information and tips for the festival days on Twitter. The police point out that in between times “intermediate water” should be allowed. You write:

“(…) so that the heat doesn’t get to your head even when you’re headbanging.”

They also share a picture of a police officer handing a metal fan a water bottle.

beer at the festival

Otherwise, another drink is obviously preferred when partying there: beer. And a lot of that was brought back, as the photo of a visitor shows. In his trunk there are only beer bottles.

However, too much beer or other alcoholic beverages can quickly become a problem. The organization “Metality” apparently knows this too. They ask the festival-goers not to “puke” in the tent.

Because tents and sleeping bags could still be donated after the end of the festival. They want to collect and clean them and then pass them on to the people who urgently need them.

Wacken 2022 is not over yet

Thomas Jensen was enthusiastic about the mood of the first concerts. “We were totally drained,” Thomas Jensen told DPA on Friday. “The blood kind of gets back in the veins and it doesn’t really matter which band is playing.”

Heavy metal fans will be partying at this year’s Wacken until this Saturday.

(and/with material from dpa)