29 Years of the Worlds Greatest Heavy Metal Festival.

Wacken is located approx. 50km northern from Hamburg, and you approach Wacken on the A23.There are Busses to and from Hamburg. The closest train station is Itzehoe.

Wacken Open Air is metal festival and takes place for the 29th time this year from 2 to 4 August 2018. Wacken Open Air takes its name from its location: W: O: A takes place in Wacken, a small town in Schleswig-Holstein,Germany.

Wacken is located approx. 50km northern from Hamburg, and you approach Wacken on the A23. Depending on the traffic situation you will be led by a dynamic traffic control system either over the exit Schenefeld or the exit Hanerau-Hademarschen with the least waiting time to the parking areas.

Please follow the traffic control system on the highway and signs along the further arrival route! Peak congestion times based on arrivals surveys are here.

The stages and Bands to look forward to in 2018.
The main stages having been renamed last year will be the same. Faster, Harder and Louder.
As is the annual tradition, The party starts on a Wednesday (01/08), with the Wacken Metal Battle kicking things off. The Wackinger Village, several awesome bands, like Pampatut, Da Rocka & Da Waitler, Ignis Fatuu, Ganaim, Bannkreis, Vogelfrey, Dartangan and Heilung.

The first acts on the main-stages go live on Thursday. We are looking forward to the day’s headliners Danzig on the Faster stage, Vince Neil, Behemoth and finally Judas Priest on the harder stage .The Louder stage hosts Tremonti, Oomph! and Hatebreed. The Wasteland stage, will see bands like Monstagon, Blessed Hellride and Budderside. The metal disco (A DJ playing metal songs)which we found to be amazing close out the Headbangers stage. Friday sees action across all the main-stages from bands such as Amorphis, Epica, Children of Bodom, Nightwish, In Flames, Korpiklaani and Ghost. The legend Doro is still around. Wacken and Doro are synonymous. We expect her to light up the harder stage.

Image courtesy : metalrecusants.com

The action continues on with Saturday Riot V kicking things off playing stuff from the killer new album. The harder stage sees an eclectic mix of bands from Alestorm to Gojira, to Arch Enemy before Dimmu Borgir close out the Faster stage. Eskimocall boy and Inextremo close out the other 2 main stages.

What’s new this year and improvements from last year.

A New ticket format – one that is convenient and fits into your pocket. Similar to a credit card. “There is one important change: Attached to the back of the hard ticket you will find our new W:OA Card. This is the actual ticket for W:O:A 2018!. The cardboard ticket is just a a souvenir for your collection. This new format is convenient, fits into every pocket and is resistant to damage.”
At W:O:A 2018 it will again be possible to buy drinks, food and other items with the cashless payment system. Almost all stalls on the site are involved, only a few stalls on the campsite and the stalls and shops in the village are not part of the system.

Your Cashless Payment card is also your ticket for W:O:A 2018. The paper ticket is worthless and does not allow access to the site! Everything from registering your card to transferring funds can now be done online here. All the advantages of using the cashless system are here .Why should you use the Cashless system? Find out here.

Images courtesy : wacken.com

Wacken introduced the worlds first beer pipeline spanning a few kilometres in 2017. We look forward to more of that in 2018. Varied programming like Metal Yoga, Wrestling and Poetry slams in the tent stage aptly named Welcome to the Jungle.Wacken was also streamed to over a 150 countries thanks to Live streaming provided by Magenta Musik 360 and 3 Sat.


The app gives you access to the latest news, the complete list of bands at the event and the running order. You can also add single bands and events to your personal favourite list to get a notification right before the band hits the stage! And if you have problems to find the right stage: A detailed map of the festival area is included, too.

List of features: 

News – stay informed before, whilst and after the festival 
Bands/Billing – complete list of all acts 
Running Order – the running order of the festival – find out which bands play when and where! 

My Festival Area – save your favourite acts and get a reminder to walk to the stages in time.

Maps – detailed festival area maps.

Social Media – Facebook and Twitter feeds from the festival.
Spotify Playlist – Official playlist with the acts from the festival.  

The festival area is huge and even with this awesome map it’s hard not to get lost. We advice to take the festival map with you to ensure you’ve at least got something to go on. This years map is not online yet, but it will be added later on the official website and on the app.  The infield includes the 3 Main Stages: Faster Stage, Harder Stage and Louder Stage, and a few smaller stages: W.E.T Stage, Headbangers Stage, Wackinger Stage and Wasteland Stage. The infield opens on Thursday afternoon.
Before that you can already visit the Wackinger Village, Beer Garden, Welcome to the Jungle, Metal Market and Wacken Plaza. First, before the Wacken Plaza is the place where you have to check in for the first time and get your wristband. Then you’ll enter the Wacken Plaza via the festival entrance. Here are the Bullhead City Circus with the two smaller stages Headbangers Stage and W:E:T Stage. Next to the Wacken Plaza there’s the Wackinger Village. This is our favourite spot of the festival, with several acts, a great atmosphere, and the best (authentic) food of Wacken.

For downloadable versions of these maps go here.


Keep yourself hydrated. Water can be scarce commodity.
Carry a spare bottle so you can fill up at various points in the festival.

Bring rubber boots and a rain coat it almost always rains at Wacken and when it rains it gets muddy real fast.
A rain poncho is included in every Full Metal Bag but it may come in handy to bring your own poncho or rain coat.
The security is very strict you can’t carry professional camera’s, when you don’t have a press photo pass.
Vegan and Vegetarian food is on hand and available easily.
There are lockers available the earlier you book one the better. If you have a Media pass you can store your stuff in the Media tent till they close at 1am. They also charge your phones/ipads for 1 euro per device.
Carry good earplugs, while you do get plugs in the Metal bag, we recommend you carry a pair.
There are ATM’s at the festival area and in the village.
Cashless payment is available. You can top up your account online and track expenditure. Your festival ticket is the same as the cashless card. The card can be used across the food stalls at the festival. Note: It cannot be used everywhere.
All supplies including cigarettes and alcohol are available at the store in the village.
Photogs can carry a foot stool with them. It helps to carry a foot stool as the stages are much higher than eye level.
There are 2 kinds of photo passes a photo pass and a pit pass. Some bands on the MainStage can be shot only if you have a pit pass. If you have only a photopass you can still shoot the bands on the main-stages with a restriction of 6 bands per day and you have to go to the media tent at the beginning of a day and put your name down for the band you want to shoot. Be warned : It is first come first serve.

For images from Wacken last year and Photo galleries go to theconcertphotographer.in.