500k To Prep Wacken Site

Wacken Open Air chief Thomas Jensen is still opening the bills but he’s estimating that it cost about euro 500,000 to prep the German site for this year’s August 2-4 festival.

In the week leading up to this year’s gathering, the Wacken team had dredgers clawing mud from the top of the site and a helicopter hovering above the ground to help dry it as they tried to get ready for the record-breaking 60,000-per day crowd.

The only times in the last seven years that the event, which is generally regarded as the world’s biggest dedicated heavy metal festival, hasn’t sold out was in 2002 and 2005, when much of the surrounding area was flooded and some of the acts and many fans couldn’t get through.

"I don’t know exactly how much it all cost but it’s more than enough for a holiday," Jensen told Pollstar after spending four days on site helping to break down the production. "We had five times the average monthly rainfall in a week and the main field still looked like a sea of mud with three days to go.

"We brought in machinery to scrape it off and then put down bark chippings, then we went over them with a roller to press them down," the Dorpsted-based International Concert Services chief explained.

The day before the festival opened the sun came out and Jensen said he was relieved to be able to call off the helicopter after only a few hours.

Among the metal acts trying to dry the ground by blasting it with soundwaves were Blind Guardian, In Flames, Saxon, Bullet For My Valentine, Rose Tattoo, Moonspell, Napalm Death, Grave Digger, Lacuna Coil, Cannibal Corpse, Heaven Shall Burn, Sodom and at least three dozen others.