A Wacken Update

I may as well start this thing again! This is a comprehensive outline of Wacken preparations. For last year’s list of things I did as well as a short explanation of Wacken Open Air and why I have to go, click here.

Well, first off, you have to sacrifice something big enough for He-With-No-Name to take note and allow your credit card to be accepted at Metaltix. My Amex credit card kept getting rejected (something about a transfer not going through), and Metaltix did not deign to reply to any of my pleas or queries. Finally, I just used my Visa debit card and within days I got an e-mail informing me that my ticket was shipped. An agonizing month later I got my Wacken ticket (as well a set of bewildering coupons to a German McDonald’s), in the mail. Good thing too, since Wacken has been officially sold out since 3/8/08.

This year is going to be astonishingly good X 2, because I’m not going by my lonesome — fathful d42 got her ticket too. Good things have been happening for W:A:O also. They got the Live Entertainment of the Year Award this year which only confirmed their awesomeness. Now I’m just sorry I didn’t get an extra ticket since selling it on E-bay would probably pay for the plane ride there.

Transportation to Hamburg: So, I have my ticket, great. But that’s only half the battle. Now I have to afford plane tickets from NYC to Hamburg, and finally get from the airport to the festival grounds. The sites that have been more helpful with(cheaper) plane tickets so far are sidestep.com and studentuniverse.com. Sidestep is cool because it is a comprehensive search engine of search engines. To take advantage of Studentuniverse rates you have to actually be either a student or faculty, and even then, you can only get your own ticket. d42 and I are going to get together sometime soon to order ours instantaneously to assure that we will suffer through the 12 hr ride together. We’re trying really hard to avoid tickets that require us to be at the airport in the AM on Sunday, 3 August. Though there does appear to be a 4am shuttle from Wacken back to Hamburg… so we’ll see.

Transportation to Wacken: We’re at the airport, now what? Certainly read what Wacken organizers have to say, bad English and all. I chose to go with Remedy Records last year, and it really saved me a huge hassle. This year the shuttle from Itzehoe is supposed to be better equipped to handle the influx of people, but I think I’ll stick with Remedy Records anyway. Definitely make a reservation first. More info on that here.

Airport–>Remedy Records: Last year, I just hopped on the 110 bus from the airport to the train station, which was the last stop. It’s not really hard to figure out, you really just have to follow the flow of other metalheads. Once at the train station, I took the S bahn to HauptBanhof. From there I caught the S21 or S31 to Holstenstrasse and an arrow pointed to Holstenplatz. Hard to miss really. Then I hung around lazily in the sun, sharing sunblock with a pile of strangers, until the shuttle got there. The trip from RR to Wacken took about an hour and a half.

Housing: We are going to spend a week in Hamburg, since neither one of us has ever actually seen the city before. So, first we will grab a hostel either through hostelworld.com or hostels.com. Both sites work with more or less the same selection. We’ll hang out for a few days, and then take our shit to the campgrounds on Wednesday. Here are the opening times.

The Packing List: I learned a few things from last year. First of all, it WILL BE COLD AS SHIT in the night, so sleep with a friend (hurhur) and don’t forget a mat for your sleeping bag. Second of all, you will be buying obscene amount of liquor and food from the village store, so bring something with wheels. Third of all, you will want to hang around outside your tent, but will not want to sit your ass on the pissed on grass, so bring a little folding chair, or just buy one there. And finally, as if I have to tell you… combat boots=GOOD IDEA. You can actually buy a lot of the stuff in the village, they’re happy to sell it to you! But here is the rest of the stuff I would bring and not feel an idiot for lugging across the world:

  • flashlight (you will want it when you need to pee in the night)
  • tent (duh!)
  • sunblock and bug spray (Sunblock, for SURE, bugspray… didn’t need for some reason)
  • bungee cords (to get all your shit mobile and later you can use them to line dry your filthy sweat-soaked clothes back into serviceability)
  • Something with wheels
  • little folding chair
  • sleeping bag with sleeping pad
  • camera (I brought digital, it was fine)
  • Clothes: Combat boots, 2 pair of shorts, 2 pair of jeans, underwears galore, 5 shirts, a hat, a poncho, long johns to sleep in (they gave us ponchos there; make sure you have something with reliable pockets!)
  • bathroom stuff: a baggy of toothbrush and toothpaste, vaseline/lotion, liquid soap, wash cloth, small towel, shower shoes, scant make up, hair brush, shampoo/conditioner. (bring enough to share=make naked friends)
  • a book to last me through all the commuting
  • a hoodie (served me well walking back from the pit at 2am)
  • a Flag (I dunno, everyone brought one! And it’s a good way to help you identify your tent later)
  • Piles of metal gear (seriously, it’s like a fucking fashion show)
  • Cash-money to buy the most awesome junk ever. Damn the crashing value of the dollar…
Wacken Flier

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    • Rob
    • March 28th, 2008

    That’s the first picture of you I’ve seen in years. Rather cool to see you peering over that ticket. You’re going to have to let me know what flag you end up using to mark your territory. I’m just curious. 500 years ago once you planted a flag you got to keep the territory. I wonder if that’s still in effect?.
    Allow me to add to your packing list. Put everything you care about in those giant Zip-Loc freezer bags. That always works for me, at least.
    Ever seen a LazerBrite 2 flashlight? It’s got LED bulbs so the batteries last forever, you can reverse the light so the body illuminates everything like a chem-light, and they come in a bunch of different colors. (Each comes with 2)
    You’ve been talking about Wacken for a while. Keep up with these updates!

  1. going myself this year to “lose my Wacken virginity”…loved the narration of 2007 and thankful for the supply catalogue (I definitely would not have thought of the obviously essential flashlight). Up the irons!

    • eatthelemons
    • March 29th, 2008

    Cool ideas, Rob. I’ll look into this flashlight, it’d be pretty trippy if anything. I’m just excited to be dragging someone along. Hopefully I’ll just drag more and more ppl each year. The next update should be sometime in August, after we get back. Thinking about going there is helping me survive gradschool. I’m pretty much obsessing now ;P

    • eatthelemons
    • March 29th, 2008

    Hope to see ya there Pchan. The flashlight isn’t SOO essential because they do have bright overheads almost everywhere, but as a girl, it kinda helped maintain a little dignity

    • Deadwinter
    • July 5th, 2008

    I cannot tell you how happy I am I found your blog. This year will be my first Wacken and I am seriously stressing out about transportation from HAM to Wacken and back. And the packing list is awesome.

    Do you have any idea how long it takes people who do not take the Remedy Records shuttle to get from Wacken to the airport, or at least to Hamburg Main Station?

    • eatthelemons
    • July 6th, 2008

    Haha, glad to help! Don’t stress, it’ll be awesome. I met up with a guy from the states last year and we ended up being on the same flight home. He didn’t use the shuttle, but he made it. The only problem is that without a reserved seat you just have to either be at the front of the line or wait a long time, so you might wanna give yourself a good 4-5 hours before you need to be at the airport. I remember he was kinda stressed out, but he did make it, and he was really all over the place (lost his tent, lost his friends and lost all his shit). There are facebook and myspace pages dedicated to Wacken, you can probably ask around on there too. See you there!

    • Metal Steve from OZ
    • July 8th, 2008

    Ditto going myself this year to lose my Wacken virginity. Thanx for the advise and idea’s.
    See ya in da beer tent!

    • eatthelemons
    • July 8th, 2008

    Fo Sho!

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