Wacken’s Early Christmas

It didn’t sell out quite as quickly as last year but Germany’s Wacken Open Air still shifted all its 75,000 tickets nearly six months in advance, and it’s already sold 10,000 “Christmas tickets” for next year’s festival.

“Last year we sold out early February and this year it was towards the end of the month,” WOA chief Thomas Jensen explained.
The so-called Christmas tickets went on sale at midnight on the last day of this year’s Wacken. All 10,000 went in five hours.

The ticket grants the buyer a discount of about 10 percent and offers other goodies including a limited-edition T-shirt commemorating the fact he or she managed to be one of the lucky ones.

“I know it sounds crazy to call it a Christmas ticket but it dates back to the time when we used to put them on sale at Christmas, and we like to stick with traditions like that,” Jensen told Pollstar. “The demand for the tickets became so great and there seemed to be a sort of kudos in managing to get one, so in the end we were able to put 10,000 on sale as soon as the previous year’s festival had finished.”

Jensen reported this year’s event opened in showery weather but the sun came out once the festival was under way. Asked which bands went down particularly well with the packed Wacken crowd, he said he felt the entire lineup did.

The acts helping Christmas come early at what’s arguably the world’s biggest metal bash Aug. 5-7 included Alice Cooper, Mötley Crüe, Iron Maiden, Apocalyptica, W.A.S.P., Soulfly, Kamelot and Suicidal Angels.