Wacken 2009 Info
I’ve got the golden tickeeeeet! And I hope you do too, because Wacken 2009 is SOLD OUT and if you still want to go you will have to deal with E-bay. This year is Wacken‘s 20th in the metal business, and also my third partaking of said metal. I wrote up some sort of an update or list every year, so I think I’ll stick to that. You can check out previous articles (links are at the bottom), but the most updated links and info will be here.
Flights: As a citizen of the United States I am stuck having to take a flight over to Wacken. Thanks to recession the flights are much cheaper now. Use sidestep.com to find a flight and then go to the websites of the airlines invovled and see if you can get an even better deal. With United Airlines I paid $800 for a ticket into Hamburg and flying out of Paris (in comparison to 1,100 last year just to Hamburg and back).
Buses: Metal Travel are doing an excellent job this year with shuttles from a variety of cities and airports straight into Wacken. A good amount of them are already sold out and after July 15th tickets will no longer be sold online. The only glitch I noticed so far is that although they promise you can change your reservation, they haven’t figured out if they need to do it manually or if the website can be worked to do that automatically by the buyer. In any case, I would recommend booking a seat unless you already have a ride in.
The trip from the Hamburg airport to Wacken takes about an hour.
If you seriously don’t want to have any part in the actual camping, MetalTravel offers hotel packages. Although seriously, about 80% of the reason people come to Wacken is the camping. Lots of the campers don’t even bother getting to the stages, which I don’t get either. Extremes on both ends I guess.
It is a good idea to form a tour of Europe around Wacken. Last year I realized that I was being a total dolt for flying all the way into Germany just to stay a few days and fly back. In that case, you should look into hostels. Hostels.com and Hostelword.com are basically the same. Hostelworld is just more Euro friendly. However, the cheapest way to find a hostelroom is to just walk into a huge hostel (like the Generator in Berlin) and ask for the cheapest room. Last year I got a rate that wasn’t even posted by doing it this way. Check hotels.com for rates if you are traveling in a group. You will end up paying less for a room with a few people in it than a few individual beds in a hostel.
And while you’re planning your mad tour, check out Sandemans for free tours and excellent beer crawls in major cities.
CAMPING and PACKING LIST
The campgrounds usually open up on Tuesday. Opening times will be available at Wacken.com as time draws near. It is a good idea to get there early even though actual music only starts on Thursday. The camping grounds are immense and you may be stuck walking a good halfhour to the stages if you show up late. The festival ends at around 3am on Sunday and people usually take all day to get out of there.
Showers and cleanish toilets are available for money. Many people who go to Wacken don’t believe in showering, but I am a great fan, so I usually try to camp by the showers. Food will be sold to you on the festival grounds and at the campsites. The village of Wacken will also make as much money off of you as possible. There are two markets in the village where you can get anything from provisions to sleeping bags and inflatable pools. One is small and usually very crowded. The other is a conglomeration of stores, much further, but also less crowded. Whatever you forget to bring, they will sell you. They will also sell you lots and lots of beer, and the children of the village will engage their little red wagons and help you get that beer to your campsite.
This brings us to the things I have learned you may want to bring along or possibly buy once you get there. At least, these are all the things that I, a girl who likes to smell good, felt I needed. So, here is the PACKING LIST:
Clothes (they gave us ponchos there and we laundered some underthings in the showers):
- Combat boots
- sandals/flip flops (for when your feet are too blistered for boots)
- 2 pairs of shorts
- 2 pairs of jeans
- underwears galore
- 5 shirts
- long johns or something warm to sleep in
- a baggy of toothbrush and toothpaste
- vaseline (put on your blisters, sunburn, chapped lips)
- liquid soap
- wash cloth
- small towel
- shower shoes
- scant make up
- hair brush
- shampoo/conditioner (bring enough to share=make naked friends)
- flashlight (you will want it when you need to pee in the night)
- tent (duh!)
- sunblock (it will get hot as hell)
- a hat or sunglasses (it will be sunny as hell)
- 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 (because you will buy beer and will otherwise have to pay a kid to help you get it home)
- 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 (credit cards won’t get you far, there is an ATM in town)
- bathing suits (at least tops)
- device to make water hot
- pavillion or beach umbrellas (for shade)
- hangers (goes back to drying things into serviceability)
- a folding table
- a knife
- a notebook and pen (to chronicle all the crazy)
- folding chair
- sleeping bag
- sleeping pad
- camera (I brought digital, it was fine)
Well, that’s that. You are ready to go. If this is your first year, and you want to find out more about what to expect, or what to do when you lose your passport, read the posts about Wacken 2007 and Wacken 2008. Also, because “Wacken” is a German name, you pronounce it as “Vacken,” with a “V.” If you don’t, everyone will know you’re a newb.
Links in this article:
Links to previous Wacken Open Air posts: