| 24 Feb 2024
W:O:A is about being a high-quality festival: Miriam Hensel

MUMBAI: The world's largest open air heavy metal festival, Wacken Open Air, will be celebrating its silver jubilee in 2014. The four-day event, which will be held from 30 July to 2 August, will feature a whopping 120 artistes from 30 countries, performing across seven stages at Wacken, Germany.

Already sold out, the festival will see 75,000 people sprawled across 220 hectares of festival area. Miriam Hensel, Vice President-Wacken Open Air said, "It (W:O:A) is made by fans for fans. It is not about having the biggest headliner, but about a high-quality festival. And that means a good program, clean fields, good food and a lot to experience, helping the Metal heads feel as comfortable as possible."

The audiences will be treated to 13-15 hours of live performances each day. "The work on the line up has been consistent since the bands also plan their tours and shows well in advance. We have been readying the 2014 line-up since last summer," said Hensel. Apart from the 80 announced artistes, winners of the Wacken Metal Battles from all over the world will also be part of the line-up.

The festival area will have 100 food stalls, 300 non-food stalls and lots of beer for metal heads. A crew of 5000 people consisting electricians, water supply personnel, 800 security guards, 70 construction hands, 4 emergency doctors, 180 cleaning personnel and a site crew of 40 people is responsible for the 25th edition of the festival. A daily crew of 200 policemen, 200 fire fighters and 200 paramedics will also be on stand-by for festival goers.

When asked where audiences for the festival come from, Hensel replied, "They come from all over the world. A lot of people come from Europe, Scandinavia and BeNeLux, but we have lots of fans coming from South America, North America as well as Asia. India is getting stronger and stronger, something we highly appreciate. Then there are people from smaller countries such as Oman and Ethopia.

The technical production for the festival is done by several companies. "Crystal Sound from Karlsruhe, Germany is responsible for the sound and Grand PA Beschallungs- & Lichttechnik GmbH & Co.KG from Harmwedel, Germany is responsible for the light system," Hensel confirmed.

Commenting on the growth of the Metal scene across continents, Hensel added, "We think that South America, Asia and Northern Africa are markets where metal gets bigger and bigger."

The festival will also release a 3D music documentary, 'Wacken- Louder Than Hell' on 24 July 2014 in cinemas. Directed by Norbert Heitker from the perspective of a fan, the film will take audience backstage to meet bands before they perform. It will also show the faces of thousands of excited fans and depict crowd-surfing up close. The cameras will cover the metal battles and the oompah music of the "Wacken Firefighters", all at Wacken, the incarnation and the Mecca of Heavy Metal for millions of fans worldwide.