Festival: I'm 40 years old and I'm going to Wacken Open Air soon - with mixed feelings

It was a warm summer evening, my partner and I followed the concerts at the Wacken Festival.

Festival: I'm 40 years old and I'm going to Wacken Open Air soon - with mixed feelings

It was a warm summer evening, my partner and I followed the concerts at the Wacken Festival. While more than 80,000 metal fans, like every year, almost demolished the small village in Schleswig-Holstein, we (once again) just sat in our garden, in front of the live stream. We liked being able to follow the music and the atmosphere so much – it was also transmitted digitally – that we had the wish: “Come on, let’s go to the Wacken Festival once in a lifetime!”

When the day of advance ticket sales started, we sat down in front of the computer without any great expectations and logged into the queue at the ticket shop. At that moment, none of us really expected that our project would be crowned with success, because the festival, which was founded in 1989 by Thomas Jensen and Holger Hübner, sells out pretty quickly every year. But after a few technical difficulties we were in... and the countdown on the website started backwards. And tada: A few minutes later we got hold of three tickets for us and a good friend. Three out of 85,000! At that point, we were overjoyed.

The festival will take place from July 31st to August 5th this year. But the closer the date gets, the more doubts add to my initial euphoria. There are so many people there: will it overwhelm me at some point? On top of that, I haven't camped in years and I'm wondering if I'll still have a working back after this event. Then there is the biggest concern – the notorious festival toilets, which usually become unusable after a few days. Bad images and smells creep into my head. And how about the shower? The fact that I want to see as many bands as possible for the price of the ticket ultimately makes me worried whether I can keep it up or whether I'll end up lying in the corner and getting annoyed.

And because I haven't whined enough up to this point, I'm also seriously frustrated that so many doubts have joined the initial joy. Actually, I should just be happy! There will be so many good metal bands, such as Megadeth, Iron Maiden, Kreator or Doro Pesch - and a unique atmosphere that I can experience live. Everyone always raves about it! I should be lucky to meet so many other metalheads and music lovers who are consistently referred to as the friendliest people in the music world.

There is also a lot to experience on the fringes of the festival every year: for example a market where you can buy regional products - I would definitely like to stop by. There is also an outdoor pool, which will certainly be well attended if the temperatures should rise by then. The most important thing for me is that I am guaranteed to have a great time with two people who mean a lot to me and with whom I would like to experience everything together.

That's why I'm trying to stop thinking about possible negative things that I probably can't change anyway. If I really need a break, I just lie down in the tent or sit in the shade and watch the festival-goers. Until we set off, I'll distract myself with planning, because there's a lot to take with us. Nevertheless, I have a bit of a wish that my youthful self would join me for a few days and say encouragingly: "Hey, that'll be gentle!" The fact is that 20 years ago I wouldn't have gone to a festival with so many doubts. And without fear for my back.

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