The above video is the “official trailer” for the Wacken Open Air heavy metal festival. Although the video itself is almost a year old, it’s very topical right now. One week from today will be the first official night of bands of the 3-day festival, which is the largest metal concert on planet Earth. This is the 26th time the festival has occurred, getting its start way back in 1990 on the farm fields of northern Germany near the little town of Wacken which has hosted this “metal Woodstock” since the beginning. The video is one of the most beautifully put-together pieces of promotion I’ve ever seen for the festival, full of lush visuals that really capture what it’s like to be there at the biggest metal party in the world.

I am not going to be there this year, as I decided that, after 12 trips, 2014 would be my last festival. If you were reading my blog this time last year, you probably read my extensive report (here’s part one, the others are linked from it) and perhaps saw my photos. This is also the first year since before I started going, which was in 2000, where I won’t have a large number of friends attending the festival. Karl of the now-renamed Rekator will be there for one evening but not the whole show. Thus I’ll be monitoring the festival from afar–in the past few years they’ve live-streamed video from various performances–and checking in on the webcams and such from the official Wacken site.

Nevertheless, although I’m not going this year, I can’t help thinking as I go about my business this week what I would be doing right now if I was going. I may do a few other Wacken-related posts over the course of the festival, perhaps including a round-up of all the blog posts I’ve done about it in one way or another. But for now, enjoy the video and wish our metal brothers and sisters a safe trip as they travel to “the holy land” one more time.