A new initiative will invite W.O.A. attendees to help shape the future of the festival by asking them what they want to see in years to come... that'll be beer, wurst and metal, surely?
All current issues that are important to our society are often also reflected within the microcosm of a festival. For this reason, German summer institution Wacken Open Air has created a new, public forum for its thirtieth edition: the Wacken Future Factory.
The Wacken Future Factory will provide a physical area, where the future of the festival will be shaped in exchange with fans, musicians, experts, sponsors, and the Wacken team. In this workshop area, questions about the future of the festival will be discussed: What should Wacken Open Air look like? How should the festival address such important topics as sustainability, inclusion, security, festival planning, digitisation, and cultural values?
Thomas Jensen comments: “Wacken Open Air has always been the result of a close contact between fans, artists, and the entire Wacken family,” says the festival promoter. “A festival will always reflect current social changes and has to face today’s challenges as well. This raises questions that we want to tackle together with our community as well as experts. The newly created Wacken Future Factory will help us to identify those questions in order to develop concrete answers.”
Holger Hübner adds: “We are very fortunate that a festival can serve as an amplifier in order to raise people’s awareness,” comments the festival promoter. “This is a privilege that entails responsibility. We are convinced that small steps can lead to important changes. Ultimately, however, we can only live up to our responsibility, if our fans want to be a part of it. For this reason, we are creating an open forum for everyone involved with the Wacken Future Factory. ”
The project team, consisting of Maren Maxeiner (pictured left) and Linda Nowak (pictured right) for the Wacken Open Air, and Inga Wiele of Gezeitenraum (in the center of the picture) is aiming to learn about which questions to ask. In the aftermath of the festival, a team including a number external experts will evaluate all observations and they will furthermore continue the dialogue with everyone involved.
Maren Maxeiner comments: “We look forward to bringing all kinds of people together during the festival for an inspiring exchange,” says the Wacken team leader on behalf of the project team. “The Wacken Future Factory is our experiment in a conscious effort to generate constructive change – and we are more than just curious about the results of this interaction between everybody involved.”
The following booths are already confirmed for the Wacken Future Factory (others are still in the development stage):
1. Workshop in the Bus (“Werkstatt im Tourbus”)
Workshops and discussions can take place in this bus in all kinds of weather.
2. Builders’ Area
A “construction table” under a fixed roof, which will offer an opportunity to visualise a personal future Wacken with the help of building blocks.
3. Regulars’ Table (“Stammtisch”)
A covered area, which invites to casual chatting and exchange of thoughts. If the weather conditions allow it, there will also be outdoor workshops and short talks from experts.
4. Interview Area in Airstream Caravan
A new area for press interviews regarding future topics, which is an additional offer to the existing press area.
5. Alternative Food and Beverages (“Alternatives Essens- und Getränkeangebot”)
A “Norditeran” food-truck and “Samova” tea-bar
6. Artist Installation of Disposables (“Künstlerinstallation aus Wegwerfartikeln”)
Visitors can deliver their unwanted disposable items at this booth to a resident artist, who will create a sculpture during the festival to document by aesthetic means what catches the eyes of the fans.
7. GP Joule
A specialist for regenerative energy and green electric solutions.