Wacken: Louder than Hell

If you are looking for a Heavy Metal festival to attend in Europe, definitely this name already showed up in your searches: WACKEN. This is the larger Heavy Metal festival in the world and if you are part of the headbangers universe, you probably heard of Wacken if it is not already your dream festival. Well, we are here to help dreams come true and try to put together all the informations about the festival in only one page.

Where is Wacken?

Might sound weird but the name of the festival was inspired in the name of the small city that hosts it since the very beginning. Wacken is a very small country side town in North Germany. Although the biggest city near to Wacken is Hamburg, there is another small city that gives the festival all the support it needs, this city is Itzehoe.

For you to have a bigger idea on how big Wacken is, it has approximately 2 thousand habitants and it has only 7,1 km². The Heavy Metal Festival definitely changed everything in this small town and even has helped a lot the local economy. Since 1990, once per year around 80.000 people go to this very small town that learned how to prepare themselves to the big event. Besides there is no big stores near to the festival areas, the habitants of the street by the side of it transform their houses into shops, snack bars, small restaurants, biergarten and even rent their front yard for people that want to camp in a family atmosphere. Wacken Open Air changed the city and the city helps Wacken to be even better!

If you are planning to go to Wacken, never forget that the locals are super friendly and they can always help you with many things, like if you need to recharge your phone, for example. So be nice to every one in town, respect all the limits and most of all, respect the nature you are stepping in. Outside this one week of crazyness and metal world, Wacken needs its lands to farm and feed the animals, so never forget that.

What to expect?

Well my dear, welcome to the Heavy Metal world. Arriving at Wacken for the first time was like a dream city coming true. You know that those people understand you and you understand them. All united for one biggest thing: the good and old Rock n Roll. Contrary to what most people think about Metal Festivals, it is a peaceful environment and people just wanna have fun and enjoy a good time watching them favorite bands or simply drinking beer with friends at the campsite.

Besides a lot of great metal energy and the time of your life, you can expect also a bit of crazy weather. That area has an unstable weather for August. Can be super shiny, warm and no rain at all, but also can be rainy and muddy. I already got a very amazing weather with a last day turn where the temperature went from 30ºC to 5ºC at night and on the last day everyone had a cold. So, don’t trust that the weather will be always good and shining. Take also some warm clothes with you and an extra pair of shoes in case it gets wet. The main fact is that doesn’t matter which weather you will have to face, the festival just happens for 3 days in the year and you must make the best of it. Under rain, under sun or under mud, just enjoy!

When does it happens?

Wacken Open Air happens always in the first weekend of August. Can also happen in the very last July days in case 1st August is on Sunday. It always goes from Thursday to Saturday and the campsite is always open one day earlier and closing one day later. So if you are planning the big travel, make sure to reserve those dates to Wacken and make even more sure to guarantee your ticket as soon as possible, because the tendency is to be all sold out pretty quick. Also, make sure to buy it at the legal seller to avoid scams or fake tickets, click here to access the official page. Also, Wacken just has tickets for the 3 days of festival, even if you don’t want to go to all of the 3, there’s no possibility to buy only one day ticket.

Full Metal Bag

If you are attending Wacken (with a proper ticket not VIP list), you will get the greatest souvenir ever: The Full Metal Bag. It is one of the coolest thing in my opinion. The bag is very helpful during the festival, because it is very light and very easy to carry around and always comes with important itens to make your festival experience even better. Some examples of what I already got on my Full Metal Bags was: cards game, pen, condom, trash bag, rain coat, small belt purse to carry your money safer, stickers, ears protector, bottle opener, patch and even some discounts to Burger Kings and other places. It is a great thing and as long as you have a ticket, you can get one! 😉


If you have a Wacken ticket, you have the right to camp for free. You can bring your tent or buy it in Hamburg or Itzehoe. There are even some locals selling tents at the festival door, but I would suggest you something more stable that could handle if the weather decides to change. Also, if you come by car, you can park by the side of your car or even camp inside of it. If you have a car or the chance to rent one, we really would recommend it in case of stormy weather. There is a camp reserved for people without cars and it is nearer to the festival area, so the negative side of bringing having a car is that you will have to walk more. Don’t forget that Wacken is the largest festival in the world, so walking more really mean walking. If you don’t feel like buying one you can also rent a tent at Wacken, you can already do it by clicking here.

Festival Structure

It is not for no reason that Wacken is known as the largest Heavy Metal Festival in the world. Since its founding in 1990 they never stopped growing and adding more and more attractions to the festival. To see all that Wacken has to offer and also watch all the bands you want to see is hard work. To start, they have 7 stages all around the huge festival area. Three of them are the Main Stages and the other 4 you will have to hunt on the other areas. Besides that, the amount of attractions are huge. You can watch a movie, go shopping at the Metal Market, spend some time drinking a good beer at the Biergarten, play some football at the Soccer Field, watch some wrestling fights or spend some time amazed at the Wackinger Village, a place where you are going to see how the Vikings used to live and even have the chance to take home with you some really cool handcrafted things or watch the knights fighting. If you want more, there is also a post office place, where you can send that post card that you got as a gift at the Full Metal Bag. Wacken is indeed huge and much more than a Music Festival!

How to get there

If you are arriving in Germany by plane, reserve your ticket to Hamburg, that is the nearest airport from Wacken. But of you are already in Germany and need to get there by train, than search a ticket to Itzehoe and from there you can take the shuttle bus that will take you to the festival door. You can always print the shuttle bus schedules, so you won’t have a problem in case you reserved your hotel also in Itzehoe, which by the way we don’t recommend if you don’t have a car. The hours of the buses are limited and you might lose a lot of nice shows if you have to stick to it.

Ready for the largest Heavy Metal Festival of the World?

Well, know that you know the basics all you need is to arrange this amazing trip and bang your head at Wacken. Traveling around Germany is very easy by train or by bus (being this one much cheaper!), so if you want to plan some very nice days rocking at Wacken, going crazy in Hamburg, learning some history in Berlin and living the fairytale in Munich, can be easy and super affordable. Put our website on your favorites, and you will always learn how!