Headbangers Have a Ball Wacken Heavy Metal Fest Draws 75,000

Every year rockers of all denominations converge on the northern German town of Wacken for a three-day heavy-metal music festival. This year's festival saw plenty of mud, booze, bands -- and horns!


Last week, over 75,000 people from all over the world convened in the small German town of Wacken for an annual ritual held in celebration of all things heavy metal.

The festival -- known as Wacken Open Air -- is now in its 19th year, after having been started in 1990 as a small gathering of local heavy metal bands.

This year's event drew dozens of bands to the gathering's four stages, many of which had colorful, lively names, such as "Carcass," "As I Lay Dying" or "Enemy of the Sun."

For three nights starting Thursday, participants enjoyed over 80 hours of music from all the sub-genres of heavy metal, including Death Metal, Power Metal, Thrash Metal and Folk Metal.

This year's "battle of the bands" winner was the Israeli band The Fading.

In between events, concert-goers drank, played in the copious mud and socialized with the town's 1,800 year-round residents, who have generally come to enjoy the festival's annual arrival.

Festival founder Thomas Jensen has announced that next year's festival will be held in San Paolo, Brazil, and will be called "Wacken Rocks Brazil."

jtw/spiegel

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