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Wacken Open Air Ground Report @ Wacken, Wacken (GER)

in Thursday, 26 June 2008 at Wacken
by Erika Wallberg

Wacken Open Air Ground Report

Wacken Open Air is harder, louder and more extreme than any other European Festival nowadays. More popular too, just look at the ticket sales! Wacken is the only Festival of this size that's completely sold out, and has been for months already. So feel lucky if you're a ticket-holder and get to be a part of this event. I promise, it will take almost until Christmas to melt every impression from this. It's definitely more of everything. Last year the rumors said it was about 100.000 visitors there but official statement said 70.000 people. I wonder where IRON MAIDEN will take it this year, they're absolutely the biggest band ever booked on the Festival. I wonder if the organizers have reconstructed the area once more to fit more people. It's a huge Festival, no doubt about that so if you don't fancy the bands you can always take a stroll around the campsite and explore the German countryside for a few hours. Now there's no risk that will be necessary, the line up is awesome this year. Of 70 confirmed bands I want to see about 45 of them and then I've even been a bit selective. So I know this year will be the same story of anxiety as usual of having to choose what bands to see and what bands to hope for more opportunities for.

But Wacken Open Air is a lot much more than music too. You can absolutely shop away at the huge Metal Market, both the official one in the tent where you also will find clinics and other events together with any odd CD you can ever think of. And then of course the many merchants on and off the festival area with a huge selection of clothes, accessories, shoes and of course more music. So the hardest thing of all for this is to find time to do everything you want. If that's still not enough you can always collect a full set of Wacken Beer-glasses (yes, new motives every year) or every other thing with the Wacken logo on and have Wacken with you on every party for the rest of the year.    

That's the only disadvantage with this Festival, there's no chance in hell you'll be able to see all bands you want to, meet all people you've planned, drink all the beers, buy all CD's and so on… But I guess that's not really a problem!
PRIMORDIAL, This band I can't miss one more time. Last time they were playing at Wacken it was impossible to get inside the W.E.T-stage tent and now at SwedenRock Festival I had to choose between them and TRIUMPH. If I choose right I don't know, I plan to find out now. From what I've heard these Irish pagans shall be an awesome live-band and with the last two albums they've climbed fast in the ranks of my favorite bands. Now they're top priority to see!

AIRBOURNE kicked ass at SwedenRock Festival and now when I know what to expect this is absolutely something I want to see again. I guarantee a boost for the party-mood. AIRBOURNE is simple Aussie Rock as its best and I bet their debut album Running Wild will be a must in every hardrocker's CD-collection before the summer is over.

THE HAUNTED is one of Sweden's absolute best Metal bands! Both live and on record, period! You know what you get when you go and see THE HAUNTED, it's always good and you'll feel satisfied afterwards. So if you're up for a doze of thrash this is absolutely something for you!

ENEMY OF THE SUN released their first album Shadows last year, that one struck me light a flash from a clear blue sky. I saw add after add in the metal magazines and got curious, I don't regret one bit I got the record. They sure play a very hard-defined style of music. It is Brutal yet melodic, modern but still old-school with some very creative guitarplaying from Waldemar Soryctha (ex GRIP INC). If you're up for something new or just great songs, check'em out.

MERCENARY, Ok, I admit, MERCENARY is one of my favorite bands so of course I will appreciate most everything they do. I've realized not everyone shares my opinion here but they do put on a great show live. It sounds great, looks cool and brings a lot of emotion to brutal music. And Mercenary should fit most rockers, not too hard and not too soft. And with their latest effort Architect Of Lies in the bag it can't be anything but better than ever.
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