Wacken Open Air Festival is held every summer in the village of Wacken, Germany and has been running since 1990. It features international Rock and Metal bands and is known as the biggest metal festival in the world and “The Holy land”. Wacken has a very international audience with around 30% coming from outside Germany.
Wacken Open Air Festival Dates
Wacken Open Air Festival will be held from Thursday 29th – Saturday 31st July 2021.
Checkout the List of European Metal Festivals for other festivals and dates.
Wacken Open Air Attendance Capacity
The daily capacity at Wacken is 80,000.
Standard Weekend Festival Ticket: These cover arena entry for all 3 days. They also include camping, parking and use of showers in the campsites.
Once the main batch of Weekend Tickets are all sold, it has been known in the past for them to sell a limited amount of tickets (10,000) around Christmas time at €10 less than the regular price.
Day Tickets: These are not issued at Wacken
Tip! Wacken always sells out fast (within hours) so if you want a ticket for Wacken you need to make your purchase immediately they go on sale (which tends to be a day after the previous festival ends).
Wacken Stages and Line Up
There are 8 stages at Wacken. They have 3 main stages in the In-Field arena and they usually have 2 bands on the main stages at any one time.
Tip! The distance from the In-Field to the other stages is a fair walk so plan your band itinerary carefully to minimise lots of walking and to ensure you arrive in time at the stages where you want to be.
Bands for Wacken 2021 are yet to be announced
Around 150 bands will play across the stages over the weekend. The last bands usually finish around 02:00 each morning.
Tip! There will be band clashes across the stages. Use Clashfinder to help plan your itinerary. Note that the Clashfinder initially is just a guide and will only become accurate once official stage times have been announced.
Wacken Festival Location
The Wacken Festival address is: Hauptstraße 47, 24869 Wacken, Germany. It is located in northern Gremany, 80km from Hamburg.
Travelling to Wacken
The most common methods of transport used to travel to Wacken are Train and Car/Motorbike. Public transport is recommended.
Travelling to Wacken by Car: Highways 7 and 23 lead to Wacken. There are plenty of signposts as you get closer to the festival site. It is suggested you follow the signs once you are close rather than use a Satnav as the signs will direct you to the campsite.
Tip! You cannot choose your campsite pitch in advance. You are directed to the next available space as you arrive so it is best to arrive in groups if there are many of you wanting to camp together. You can park your car next to your tent.
Travelling to Wacken by Train: Hamburg and Itzehoe are closest transport hubs and from here you can take the Wacken shuttle bus to the festival site.
Travel Packages: A number of operators across Europe provide Travel Packages to Wacken Open Air which include a festival ticket along with camping, hotel and transport options. See the Metal Festival Travel Packages page for more information.
Camping at Wacken Open Air
Camping is included in the ticket price. You are allowed to park your vehicles next to your tent which is really convenient.
The campsite is equipped with toilets and showers at no additional fee.
In addition to your own tent, you can rent tents, cabins and caravans from various providers.
Tip! If you plan to do some cooking, you will unlikely be allowed stoves with flames and gas canisters. Use a Solid Fuel Stove instead.
Tip! A Camping Chair is recommended when camping so you have somewhere to sit in the mornings and evenings before/after the bands and is essential if the ground is wet.
Hotels and Accommodation Local to Wacken Festival
There are hotels and guest houses located at varying distances from the festival (the ones closest to Wacken will obviously get booked up very quickly).
You can find a selection of accommodation options near to Wacken on the interactive map below. You can zoom in/out and drag.
Tip! The hotels do get booked up quickly so if you know you are going to go to the festival, you are advised to then book your hotel ASAP before prices go up and/or they sell out.
Wristbands and Entry
Wristbands are handed out upon arrival. They also tend to give out small bags of Wacken goodies such as sun cream, plasters, water bottle etc.
What to Take to Wacken Festival
Food & Drink at Wacken
All food and drink can be purchased using cash or credit/debit card.
Food: There are plenty of outlets to buy food at Wacken Festival. These range from burgers, noodles, hot dogs, fries and many more options including vegan and vegetarian.
Beer at Wacken: There are plenty of bars in the arena at Wacken to buy beer and you will also find beer sellers walking amongst the crowd. Becks is the main lager available at Wacken and you can purchase it is standard amounts or large. There doesn’t appear to be much other choice however there is a bar near one of the smaller stages (the folk metal stage when I was there) that has a few more options. Listen for the loud bell being constantly rung and you will find that bar.
Wacken operate a drinking cup scheme whereby you purchase a cup initially and keep the cup with you during the day.
Food & Alcohol are not to be taken into the festival site
Water: Water can be purchased at the bars. There are free water taps at Wacken but not many so have a good look at the festival map to find out where they are located.
Tip! Fill up on snack bars at the campsite before going to the arena in the morning.
Tip! In the surrounding roads as you walk to the main entrance, there are food and drink stalls that are much cheaper than in the main arena.
Wacken Festival Merchandise
Wacken has merchandise stalls for official merchandise and also a huge Metal Market full of stalls belonging to various traders. Wacken T-Shirts are very popular and appear to be worn as a badge of honour and you will tend to find far more Wacken T-Shirts from previous years being worn than band T-Shirts.
Tip! Wacken T-Shirts sell out fast each day but they do get additional stock each morning so it’s best to try to purchase a Wacken T-Shirt earlier in the day than later. There are long queues at the merch stands so be prepared to queue.
The weather can be unpredictable. As Wacken is held in a field, it will get muddy if it rains so be prepared. Even though under soil drainage has been installed, if there is a downpour the fields will still get incredibly muddy. There is shelter from rain and sun in tents where some of the bands play. If it gets muddy you will struggle to find anywhere to sit down, especially in the In-Field.
Tip! There is a beer garden just outside the In-Field that has lots of benches to sit on (and usually some wacky bands on a small stage).
Tip! Take a bin-bag to sit on if the ground is wet.
Mobile Phone Charging: There are facilities available to either charge your phone securely or to rent a charging stick.
Wi-Fi: There is free Wi-Fi available at various hot-spots. I’m not sure if this includes the campsite.
Wacken Festival App: Each year Wacken have available a festival app for iOS and Android devices and can be downloaded for free.
Accessibility and Disabled Facilities at Wacken
Wacken do cater significantly for the disabled. The WOA With a Handicap Page provides a fair bit of information.
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