MetalBlog by Steff Chirazi

\m/ Let there be lights… drums… sound… GEEEEETAAAR! \m/

METAL BLOG - by Steff Chirazi

Oh the glories of summer! School’s out, work has hopefully given birth to a few vacation weeks, and festival season is upon us. I mean, there are festivals and then there are FEST-I-VALS, tribal gatherings which are about a lot more than bands and stages, they’re about memories and moments and metal and madness and making friends from all corners of this square flat planet we call Earth (what? It’s round? And you cannot have corners on round things? Well you can…anyway)…which brings us to W:O:A 2015, the 26th annual Wacken Festival and a tribal gathering of the sort that would make the United Nations seem very singular. From India to Indiana to Innsbruck, fans make their way as much for the friendship and parties as the music, though the music is pretty damn great too …

How many festivals have we seen in history that seem to launch careers and etch indelible memories? Take the 1983 US Festival in San Bernardino, CA, where Judas Priest and Van Halen each roared their superiority to 350,000 people gathered in the searing heat AND a whole audience worldwide? We would point you to seek out some bootleg audio of the Heavy Metal Holocaust from Port Vale, UK in 1981, featuring Ozzy Osbourne and Motörhead, this being the one where Motörhead smashed all volume records for a festival gig. There is obviously the old Donington Festival (more recently Download and a three-dayer) but the old school day saw a bunch of great bands shoved together and making it real. The best line-up? Surely 1984’s AC/DC/ Van Halen/Ozzy/Gary Moore/Y&T/Accept/ Motley Crue fist-pumper! Christ, what a bill! And the party started early enough that day that EVERYONE was AMAZING, OK?

Older festivals have obviously seen some famous moments (and not all pleasent)…Altamont, CA in 1969, where violence and death took hold of a Rolling Stones festival headliner, Woodstock 1970 and the incredible Hendrix “Star Spangled Banner”, the Isle of Wight in ’69 and ’70 with The Who, The Doors, Jimi again, Jethro Tull and so many others, Glastonbury pretty much any year since it’s 1971 inception…Reading of course, with those classic early 80s metal-weighted three dayers…look, the point is that EVERYONE loves a GREAT festival, as much for the community as the music, and Wacken is absolutely one of the best you will ever go to. Friendly? Check. Fun? Check. Great music? Check. Great facilities? Check. A campground COUNTRY? Oh yes a big biggidy check for that one, the goddam campsite stretches for miles (no kidding, no exaggeration) and there are even provisions stores where you can get things like sausages and toilet paper (the first two things anyone needs when camping at a festival)…

And the music. From established headliners and entertainers such as Rob Zombie, to whizz-kid guitar stars like Nick Kai…remember, festivals can break musicians and festivals can break guitarists. We are back to Woodstock and Hendrix, we could even say U2 and Bono at Live Aid 1985…so enjoy giving up on your home creature comforts and embrace becoming the true rock’n’roll ANIMAL you keep burning inside all year long. Let them out to play for a few days…enjoy…

The aftermath of the campgrounds Wacken 2014 - photo by Chirazi.

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