beer at wacken

Right now, the moment this blog is published, there are more heavy metal fans together in one place than at any other time of the year. They are in the little town of Wacken, Germany, and they’re there for the Wacken Open Air metal festival, which “technically” begins tomorrow, but I’m quite certain the party is in full swing this moment.

This is the second year in a row I’ll be doing Wacken in exile, though many of my friends are going, particularly from Norway. Today I’m teaching a class, but I’d rather like to be on the other side of the world hanging out in the Wacken beer garden or trudging back to my camp site full of drunk Norwegians (and Germans, and Indians, and Canadians, and sometimes Americans). Wacken is a party like none other on the planet. Right now, as this blog goes up, bands are playing on no less than four different stages–and the main event  doesn’t even start until tomorrow.

Doing Wacken from afar is both an exciting and sad time. I’m really glad that highlights of the festival are going to be live-streamed (check here for an overview) and I’ll at least be able to get to see some of the great bands playing this year, which include Deep Purple, Doro, Gojira, Alice Cooper, Candlemass and Nightwish. But it’s a bit sad being here at home, where so many of my friends are having (yet again) the time of their lives, and the most awesome party of the heavy metal universe again goes through its beer-soaked, double-bass-drum rhythmed ritual. I had a similar experience last year. But I’m firmly decided–I will be there in person in 2014!

I may do a couple of posts on Wacken throughout the weekend. Wacken is like Christmas for metalheads, so I don’t think I’ll be able to resist!