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  CHRIS DALE'S METAL MELTDOWN
TEN YEARS ON TOTAL ROCK
February 2013


chris dale



chris dale

I've spent ten years spinning the discs on Total Rock Radio, or Bloodstock Radio as its now known. It's been great fun.

My career as a DJ started while quietly having a pint with the landlord, John McKibbin and some friends at the old Kings Head in Fulham (now sadly demised as a rock venue). Total Rock was an internet radio station that broadcast from a studio, above the pub.

One of the DJs, the legendary Krusher Joule (he's one of the top rock DJs in the country who's compered Donington and Ozzfest as well as being the artist behind the original Kerrang! logo and the evil runes on Ozzy's 'Diary Of A Madman' album sleeve), had just finished his show and popped downstairs for refreshment and to share his thoughts on the day.

"Arse Chickens!" he shouted. "They're a bunch of arse chickens!"

It seems Total Rock had offended him (or perhaps his dog). They were both easily offended.

"Nipple donkeys!" he exclaimed "I'll show them where they can shove their show. I tell you, I'm not doing it tomorrow. They can stick it up their....."

Article continues below...



I never found out how they'd offended him as his words were so mingled with expletives that there was precious little of the actual tale buried among them.

"I'll do it then!" I said. It sounded like fun. Well, not the arse chickens bit but being a radio DJ in general.

Memories of listening to the late great Tommy Vance's Friday Rock Show on the BBC as a teenager came flooding back. Total Rock's producer was (and in fact still is at Bloodstock Radio) the equally legendary Tony Wilson who had produced Tommy Vance's show back in the day.

The other main man at Total Rock/Bloodstock Radio is Malcolm Dome, the Professor of Heavy Metal and one of the original Kerrang! team that helped popularise Heavy Metal to a generation of kids in the 1980s including myself.

Without Malcolm and Tony, Kerrang! and the Friday Rock show I would have had no word of the outside World of Heavy Metal from my little bedroom in a Welsh village as a teenager. We had no internet or MetalTalk back then. There was only Kerrang! and the Friday Rock Show.

If it wasn't for them I would probably be a street sweeper right now. Without boasting too much, I reckon I'd have been quite good at it.

So anyway there I was a decade ago, pint in hand, volunteering to Krusher to do a show in his place for Malcolm and Tony. Maybe I'm a bit out of my depth in the legend status here?

"You f*cking do it then!" Krusher ranted. "Those spunk spiders don't deserve the hair off my....."

So that was it settled then. I was a radio DJ. Next question was, "Errr... what do I do then?"

Krusher told me that he'd come in the next day and do the first half hour to show me the ropes and then he'd leave me to it for the rest of the three hour slot. That sounded reasonable.

As it happened, Krusher's idea of doing the first half hour was to stick Led Zeppelin's 25 minute live version of 'Dazed And Confused' on while roughly gesturing at the mixing desk and mumbling to himself (or perhaps in hindsight it was to me)...

"That does the music, those are the adverts, that's your mike... I'm off." And true to his word, he was gone.

I've been there ever since.

I was right about my first suspicions, being a radio DJ is in fact very good fun.

For starters you get to play all your favourite songs at people. The listeners can message you back via the chatroom, saying they liked the songs (or not) and they request more songs themselves.

Then I judge if I deem their requests worthy of airplay. Sometimes they suggest cool tunes I'd never have thought of. Recent examples include Trapeze's 'Black Cloud' requested by T-Bone in Baltimore, Judas Priest's 'The Ripper' suggested by Sasquatch Bob and Gary Moore's 'Back On The Streets' requested by my good friend Mr Jef Streatfield.

Getting a request like that can make my day.

Other times they request things that I don't really want to sit in a small room listening to. One listener requested Rammstein once. So I played the Scorpions as a compromise. That's fair isn't it?

As a bonus I get to interview loads of Heavy Metal heroes on air (sometimes face to face and other times on the phone). I get to ask them all the questions I ever wanted the answers to. Here's my favourite ten questions I've got to ask people:

1 Bob Kulick, which Kiss tracks exactly did you play on and if you had joined Kiss in the 70s what would your make up design have been?

2 Scott Rockenfield, is that your real name and did Queensryche really play Iron Maiden covers in clubs in the early days?

3 Scott Ian, are Armoured Saint like a substitute's bench for Anthrax?

4 Geezer Butler, how does it feel to have influenced every Heavy Metal band ever?

5 Steve Lukather, how did you end up playing on the 1978 Peter Criss solo album?

6 Geoff Tate, did you ever regret putting the umlaut two dots above the Y in Queensryche, being as we can't write it on a standard keyboard?

7 Nick Oliveri, which is the best of the 1978 Kiss solo albums?

That one seemed like a reasonable question to me for any guest and frequently cropped up out of the blue and mid-conversation. Often it went down well.

One interview went a little sour with a band (who I won't name) when I opened their promotional opportunity on air by asking if they thought 'Sonic Boom' was a leap forward or backward for Kiss?

They looked a bit blank for a horrible pause. A second of silence is the worst thing on radio.

Then they foolishly admitted they didn't listen to Kiss. Odd folk. We never really hit it off after that.

8 George Lynch, weren't you nearly in the Ozzy Osbourne band?

9 Dave Wilson, did you roady for Led Zeppelin in the 1970s?

10 Kee Marcello, you played Hammersmith Odeon and Milton Keynes Bowl with Europe. Tonight you're headlining your first solo show in London but the UK hasn't always been so welcoming for you, has it? Tell us how your first ever visit here ended?

The answers to those questions are at the bottom of this feature.

I've also got to interview loads of other heroes and friends. The highlights have been Bruce Kulick (Kiss), Biff Byford (Saxon), Rick Parfit (Status Quo), Rowan Robertson (Dio), Doogie White (Rainbow/Tank), John5 (Marilyn Manson), Gary Moore (Gary Moore of course), Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater), Albert Lee (Blues guitarist who also played on 'Spinal Tap'), Dan Reed (Dan Reed Network), Kiko Loureiro (Angra), Joey Vera (Armored Saint), John Keeble (Spandau Ballet), Bob Catley (Magnum), Roy Z (Bruce Dickinson Band), Luke Morley (Thunder), Pete Franklin (Chariot), Matt Backer (Glen Ponder's Chalet), Michael McKeegan (Therapy?) Rudy Sarzo (Whitesnake/Ozzy/Quiet Riot/Dio) and pretty much everyone from Sack Trick at one time or another.

Once I interviewed Bruce Dickinson. Well, first he interviewed me on his BBC radio show, then we switched roles and popped round the corner to Total Rock where I interviewed him on my show. Later we went to a bar and interviewed each other off air at length.

Another time the late great Tommy Vance himself came in to do a show straight after me. It was like supporting your favourite band ever.

I learned a thing or two watching his show. He started the show with Dio's 'Rainbow In The Dark', then introduced himself with "Hello kids, Grandad's back!"

What I learned from that is that playing Dio on the radio is always a good thing.

I've made some good friends through Total Rock both in the other DJs there and among the listeners too. The listeners really make or break the show with their comments and requests. I love my regular listeners. You're all top!

That's one thing that I think puts Bloodstock Radio head and shoulders above most of their competitors. It's that live interaction between the DJ and the listeners. The fact that the show can be up to the minute and personalised for listeners is its great strength.

Recently my regular showtime of 3.00-6.00pm on Thursdays has been axed in some of the reforms of the station involved in the changeover to Bloodstock Radio. I was offered another slightly altered slot which unfortunately I couldn't commit to regularly.

It's a shame to lose the old slot but not to worry, I'm going to still do the odd show here and there when I can. Check out my Facebook and the Bloodstock Radio website for updates.

In the meantime my last regular show will be next Thursday 7th February at 4.00-6.00pm UK time. Tune in, log into the chatroom and say hello.

We've had ten years of fun there, this week will probably be the best ever!

Oh, before I forget, the answers to those questions were-

1 Just the new 'Killers' tracks and the studio side of 'Alive 2' excepting Ace's 'Rocket Ride' of course. He denied playing any of the 'Creatures Of The Night' album or on the final version of 'Naked City', which he co-wrote with Gene. The second answer was Ming The Merciless.

2 Yes and yes, with the classic line up. It must have been awesome!

3 That was quite an emphatic "no". In retrospect he might have been slightly offended by that one and some other Kiss related questions I asked him. Oh well, you can't win them all I'm told.

4 He said he didn't know as he hadn't had time to listen to them all yet.

5 It turned out it was one of the first sessions he'd ever recorded. It was before he made a name for himself in Toto or as a regular session player (did you know that he played on Michael Jackson's 'Thriller', Lionel Ritchie's 'Can't Slow Down' and Alice Cooper's 'Trash' to name but three?).

He said for Peter's album he was a youngster and happened to know Vini Poncia who was producing the album and got the call. I'd always thought he was one of the big names on the album as a special guest but no, it turned out he got famous later.

He also told me some hilarious stories off air about the crazy stuff he'd got up to with various artists on and off stage. I wouldn't want to offend you, dear reader by repeating them here.

6 Yes, many times.

7 Gene Simmons. It's a surprising answer. Most people go for Ace or Paul, but he went into a long critique of the album and its genius to back up his argument. He almost had me convinced for a minute there!

8 Yes, he was that close... but it all went suddenly pear shaped. He told me all about it at great length. Actually he had such a rant about the whole thing and various people involved that our producer Tony told me to take him off air in case law suits followed. I'll tell you all about that one another time. It was priceless!

9 Dave also known as AKA, has been one of the most regular of regular listeners and his input has frequently made my day. On his birthday once, I got him to call the show and put him live on air for a surprise to ask about his misspent youth and yes he was a part of Led Zeppelin's legendary road crew.

Another time there was Steve, a barman at the Kings Head who always used to go on and on to me about the 'St Anger' album by Metallica, as if I cared. Really, he was a bit obsessed.

So I dragged him onto the show and let him get it off his chest to the listeners. He seemed a bit nervous but I think it was probably very therapeutic all round. He's never mentioned it to me since.

10 This was a slightly loaded question to which I already knew the answer. Kee was good though and laughingly admitted that he had been deported from the UK for vagrancy as a teenager. He went on to score more bonus points by playing a cover of 'Parasite' by Kiss in his set that night.

You see? Everyone loves Kiss!

Tune into Bloodstock Radio this Thursday 4.00-6.00pm UK time at www.bloodstockradio.com




PREVIOUS CHRIS DALE COLUMNS

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A triple bill wall of sound with Church Of Misery, Slabdragger and No Bueno hit hard...

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Exclusive track listing and notes on the songs for disk 1 of upcoming Gene's mega-boxed set

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Really Richie, you're doing way better than most singers on their best form...

August 2017

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"I feel very fortunate that I have been doing this for so many years."

August 2017

chris dale PETER ELLIS AND THE MONUMENTAL CONNECTION BETWEEN HEAVY METAL AND PRO-WRESTLING
Pro Wrestling/Sports Entertainment and Heavy Metal have a very strong connection going back to the early 80s.

July 2017

chris dale DEVIL HORNZ - WHO DID IT FIRST?
Lets have a quick look through that big history book called the internet...

June 2017

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"I never realised how amazing it was in real life..."

June 2017

chris dale DEAD KOSMONAUT: COLLABORATION OF THE UNDERGROUND SWEDISH METAL SCENE
"Hopefully I will make another one a bit quicker the next time."

April 2017

chris dale WHY DO LEAD SINGERS BEHAVE THE WAY THEY DO?
Doctors will (probably) tell you that Lead Singers Disease, or LSD, is a psychological condition commonly contracted by lead vocalists...

March 2017

chris dale IS THERE ANYONE THAT DOESN'T LIKE IRON MAIDEN?
It really took me a lot of Googling to find a people somewhere that didn't like Iron Maiden but I think I've found them...

January 2017

chris dale UNDISCOVERED KISSTORY- KISS SONGS THAT SOUND A BIT LIKE OTHER ARTISTS' SONGS
"They had a song called 'Open My Eyes', it's basically the same intro, we kind of copied them."

December 2016

chris dale SCREAM FOR ME SARAJEVO: BRITISH ARMY TELLS HOW CLOSE TO DEATH BRUCE DICKINSON AND BAND ACTUALLY CAME IN 1994
"They had actually taken aim at the vehicle, taken their safety's off..."

December 2016

chris dale UNDISCOVERED KISSTORY - KISS COVER VERSIONS
We're going to sit back and listen to the original versions of all the songs that Kiss have covered on their records

September 2016

chris dale 1066 AND HOW THE NORMAN INVASION OF ENGLAND SHAPED HEAVY METAL
These invaders that King Arthur and his brave Knights of the Round Table fought against were the Anglo-Saxons - yes, the English!

September 2016

chris dale 'KISS ROCKS VEGAS LIVE' CD AND DVD
In case you hadn't guessed from some of my previous articles, I'm a massive life-long Kiss fan...

March 2016

chris dale EU REFERENDUM FROM A HEAVY METAL PERSPECTIVE, TAKING THE SWISS EXAMPLE
For some bands the UK will, like Switzerland, simply not be worth the hassle in future...

March 2016

chris dale UNDISCOVERED KISSTORY - THE KISS GUITARIST AUDITIONS OF 1982 Part 2
...more juicy tales and a plethora of brand new information.

March 2016

chris dale UNDISCOVERED KISSTORY - THE KISS GUITARIST AUDITIONS OF 1982 Part 1
...and the mystery of who actually played guitar on the Creatures Of The Night album.

January 2016

chris dale BEST NEW UK BAND OF 2016 AND THE PHENOMENON OF BIGFOOT HOAXERS IN NORTH AMERICA
"Something very odd is going on in the forests of North America and it's not Bigfoot."

January 2016

chris dale BRIGITTE SCHÖN: 'BRUCE DICKINSON: INSIGHTS: AN INTERPRETATION OF HIS SOLO ALBUMS
In which our scribe reviews a book where he has more knowledge than most about the subject matter...

December 2015

chris dale THE IRON MAIDEN-GO WEST PARALLEL UNIVERSE THEORY
He said in one diary he had a singer named as "Bruce" noted down, a phone number and next to it he'd written "Too heavy!"

September 2015

chris dale UNDISCOVERED KISSTORY: VINNIE VINCENT'S WARRIOR
The Full Story Of Vinnie Vincent's Awesome Pre-Kiss Band

March 2015

chris dale UNDISCOVERED KISSTORY: THE KISS DRUMMER AUDITIONS OF 1980
How many and which drummers auditioned for KISS when Peter Criss departed the band in 1980?

March 2015

chris dale MATTHEW TRIPPE RIP
Another look at the strange case of the man who would be Nikki Sixx.

March 2015

chris dale KISS – LOVE GUN DELUXE EDITION
In depth review of the re-issue of the classic Kiss album, Love Gun with bonus live tracks and studio outtakes.

November 2014

chris dale MR BIG – KOKO, LONODON
Live review of the opening night of Mr. Big's 2014/15 World Tour.

October 2014

chris dale MR BIG – THE STORIES WE COULD TELL
Review of the new album from Mr. Big.

September 2014

chris dale INTENSIVE BASS COURSE WITH BILLY SHEEHAN
Your humble narrator goes on tour with the legendary Mr. Big / David Lee Roth bassist and picks up some handy tips along the way.

September 2013

chris dale BOOKING AGENTS vs PROMOTERS
Why your favourite band aren't playing in your home town this year and who would win in a hyothetical fight between a promoter and a booking agent.

August 2013

chris dale ROCK AND METAL PUB QUIZ
Your MetalTalk columnist hosts a regular pub quiz on our two favourite topics: rock and metal!

July 2013

chris dale COMMUNICATION TIPS FOR EUROPEAN FESTIVALS
How to learn a foreign language in a single evening with a film, a phrasebook and a few beers!

June 2013

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May 2013

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A response to Richard Littlejohn's Attack on Goths, Punks and Heavy Metal fans.

April 2013

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April 2013

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The fun I had working as an extra on the 'Ava Adore' promotional video and why dog mess should always be avoided.
March 2013

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Good times as a Radio DJ playing my favourite tunes, making mistakes and talking to Queensryche, Dokken and Geezer Butler.
February 2013

chris dale UNDISCOVERED KISSTORY I: An Entire Album Full Of Unrelased Songs
How Kiss could make a great record this year by looking back at their old demos. We get to hear them all here.
January 2013

chris dale Kiss Reformation Magick
How Alex Dickson and I unwittingly caused the Kiss 1996 Reformation during our South American Tour with Bruce Dickinson.

December 2012

chris dale Exclusive Interview With Geoff Tate
Steve Goldby and I get to ask the singer of Queensrÿche all the questions we ever wanted to know the answers to.
November 2012

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As an occasional bass session musician, at what point does one call the line and say that enough is really enough?
November 2012

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October 2012

chris dale The Best Invention Of All Time
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October 2012

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September 2012

chris dale Scream For Me Sarajevo Part 1
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June 2012

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The second part of the story, telling of the practicalities of playing a heavy metal gig in a besieged city.
July 2012

chris dale Scream For Me Sarajevo Part 3
Our journey home from war-torn Sarajevo and refelctions on the long term effects of war.
August 2012

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Why do bands need managers and producers and more importantly who would win in a hypothecial fight between the two?
May 2012

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Predictions of what the upcoming Kiss album may sound like. I think it's going to be pretty good!
April 2012

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For years I'd heard rumours of the Kentish Town HMV Forum being a former Fascist or Nazi venue. One day I decided to research it more closely to find its true dark past.
March 2012

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The time that just for a second, I thought I might be the new bass player for Ozzy Osbourne.
Feburary 2012

chris dale Metal Evilution
Theories about the orgins of Heavy Metal from Creationists and Evolutionists put to the test in a study of the recordings of Def Leppard and AC/DC by producer Mutt Lange
January 2012

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This was a competition but still have a look at my cool collection of guitar picks from the last century! Can you guess the original owners? Here's a clue, there's some Dokken, Dio and Kiss in there.
December 2011

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What do you do if Banarama offer you their backing vocals for a heavy metal session?
November 2011

chris dale Tank Tour Diary
The Tank Tour of Scandinavaia and Poland including our show supportting Judas Priest.
October 2011

chris dale Festival Stage Collapses
What caused the tragedies at 2011's Ottawa Bluesfest, Indiana State Fair in Indianapolis and the Pukkelpop Festival in Belgium?
September 2011

chris dale Bruce Air, The Early Days
Recollections of flying across the American Mid West on Bruce Dickinson's ''Balls To Picasso' US Tour in 1994.
August 2011

chris dale European Festival Round-Up
My reviews of the best bands while I was with Mr Big on the European Festival circuit this year, including Twisted Sister, Whitesnake and Judas Priest.
July 2011

chris dale Who's Your Favourite Ozzy Guitarist?
Let's compare live clips of Rhandy, Jake, Zakk and all the other guys who have played lead guitar for the Ozzy Osbourne band. Who do you think is really the best?
June 2011

chris dale Bernie Torme Proud To Be Part Of MT Ozzy Article
Former Ozzy Osbourne and Gillan guitarist gives his repsonse to our thoughts on Ozzy Osbourne's various guitarists before and since him.
June 2011

chris dale Japanese Tsunami Disaster
How Japan coped in the wake of the earthquake/tsrunami/nuclear disaster of 2011 seen from the view of a roady on the Mr Big Tour shortly after the events.
May 2011

chris dale 10,000 Tank Albums!
How us having ten thousand listeners might well be the end of the music industry as we once knew it.
April 2011

chris dale Death Metal Session
Recording death metal for polite customers with Mikee Goodman from Sikth and Jay Graham from Ravens Creed.
March 2011

chris dale RIP Gary Moore
My happy recollections of the late great Gary Moore (4th April 1952 - 6th February 2011). A legend and a good guy to laugh with.
February 2011

chris dale Recording Bass at Steve Harris' House
The tale of how we recorded the bass tracks for the Tank album ' War Machine' at Iron Maiden HQ!
February 2011

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How I got asked to write columns for MetalTalk by editor Steve Goldby and how I got it wrong from the very start.
January 2011






WACKEN WINTER NIGHTS IS HEAVY METAL WONDERLAND

wacken

Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.

wacken

Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.



Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.

wacken

MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.

wacken

Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.

WACKEN 2018 TRAVEL PACKAGE ENQUIRY

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