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W:O:A transforms fest site after stormy summer

Wacken Open Air has undertaken a major overhaul of its festival site, with new drainage ditches, harder-wearing grass and – most importantly – a pipeline solely for beer

By IQ on 09 Nov 2016

After a stormy German festival season which claimed the scalps of Rock am Ring, Hurricane and Southside, Wacken Open Air (W:O:A) has embarked on an ambitious overhaul of its festival site for 2017.

As can be seen in the video above (and continued in parts two and three), the ICS-promoted rock and metal festival, which has taken place in the village of Wacken, in Sleswick-Holstein in northern Germany, since 1990, has dug a new drainage system, planted hardier mustard and clover grass – “experience has shown us that normal grass can’t handle the burden of a festival day”, says W:O:A – and installed a dedicated beer pipeline to avoid the problem of heavy lorries driving onto the festival site.

Explaining the need for better drainage, the festival says: “Due to ongoing burdens in the last few years, the [festival site] was deformed in many places and there was no chance for long-lasting greensward. The water couldn’t run out, and we even had some small lakes after heavy rainfalls.”

“The site was deformed in many places and … the water couldn’t run out”

The new system has a series of “subsurface water caches that can take surface water from the whole area”, and, if the rain proves too much still, the water can be diverted to the Kiel canal on the Baltic sea.

In addition to the new grass, crushed stones have been placed in several foot traffic-heavy areas, with “more measures, big and small” promised before spring 2017.

Wacken managed to avoid the worst of 2016’s rain, although the previous summer saw widespread flooding after 25l/m² worth of rain (main picture).

W:O:A 2017 will take place from 3 to 5 August. Acts already confirmed include Napalm Death, Lacuna Coil, Kreator and Turnonegro.


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