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New doc offers intimate portrayal of world's biggest metal fest

New doc offers intimate portrayal of world's biggest metal fest
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Every year, for four days in August, a sleepy farming village in the Northern German countryside becomes the epicenter of the metal universe.

More than 75,000 metal heads from around the globe invade the Wacken Open Air festival to pay homage to the greatest bands in the world of metal.

‘Wacken 3D’ is a new feature documentary, shot between July and August last year in stereoscopic 3D, that gives audiences a chance to experience the festival in a most intimate way: the fans, the music and the unique atmosphere. And that wasn’t always easy, says director Norbert Heitker: “It was quite risky to shoot all of those scenes and get a clear picture of what was going on at the end of the day. There were no paid actors, you couldn’t plan interviews with musicians. So people say what they want to say. All you can do is ask the question again and get the answer you’re hoping for,” he adds.

The first Wacken Open Air event in 1990 drew less than 800 people, but it has since grown to become the biggest open air festival of its kind. Tickets are sold out within days, long before all of the participating bands are announced.

Wacken Open Air is now celebrating its 25th birthday and its founders are delighted at the film’s timely release.

“I think this really is – I wouldn’t say divine intervention – but to have this film out now, on the 25th anniversary of the festival, is of course a very lucky coincidence. It feels right. It’s great to have a movie that talks about what these 25 years mean to us,” says the event’s co-founder and organiser Thomas Jensen.

Using 18 state-of-the-art 3D cameras, Norbert Heitker and his team covered last year’s Wacken Open Air around the clock, from behind the scenes right to the heart of the metal fan crowds.

“Wacken 3D”, an intimate portrayal of the world’s biggest metal festival, is out now in Germany.