Wacken Open Air Riedel rocks Wacken

MediorNet and Artist provides fiber backbone and communications infrastructure at the world’s biggest heavy metal festival.

Wacken Open Air Largest Heavy Metal Event

When tens of thousands of heavy metal fans descended upon the small town of Wacken, Germany, for the Wacken Open Air festival held every summer, organizers were ready, having deployed a comprehensive communications solution built on Riedel Communications’ MediorNet real-time media network and Artist digital matrix intercom system. The Riedel equipment provided the fiber backbone and communications infrastructure necessary to support security, radio communications, and audio and video transport throughout the expansive festival site.

Wacken Open Air 75.000 Fans

Each summer, prior to Wacken Open Air, the small town of Wacken transforms into a festival venue with multiple stages, fields in which festivalgoers can camp, and the infrastructure required to handle thousands of fans. The communications system supplied by Riedel since 2000 plays a key role not only in supporting audio and video distribution during the four-day event, but also in enabling festival organizers to ensure the safety of each and every guest.

» The world rocks with Wacken, and Wacken rocks with Riedel. «

Holger Hübner, Co-Founder – Wacken Open Air Festival

Wacken Open Air MediorNet @ Wacken

Since 2015, two MetroN core routers with a huge total routing capacity of 2 x 320 Gb have provided the heart of the MediorNet installation, adding further flexibility to the well-known convenience of the MediorNet installation and providing redundancy for the overall security concept. With its 10-Gb links, the MetroN system supported the interfacing of two MediorNet rings and, in turn, the transport of multiple HD-SDI signals — from the stages to the production compound and back to multiple screens — and several separate IP networks and audio streams.

Wacken Open Air Video Routing

Each of the nine stages at Wacken Open Air has a large video wall, and a further five freestanding video walls are scattered throughout the grounds. Video content from each stage is sent back to the operations center via the MediorNet network so that any video could then be displayed on any screen as “infotainment” for guests. A Riedel Artist intercom panel and line level audio at each stage allows security to talk directly to each PA mixer to instruct the band to stop playing for an emergency announcement, such as a weather warning. Voice announcements can be routed through the PA systems and any other information displayed on screen.

Wacken Open Air Communication on Sight

Thirty remotely controlled IP-based cameras were installed throughout the grounds for security surveillance. Data transported to and from these cameras was delivered to the Wacken Open Air Security Center through the Riedel MediorNet fiber backbone. Riedel also supplied nearly 700 TETRA radios to ensure that security staff and stewards maintained clear communications throughout Wacken and the festival grounds. The radios were interfaced directly with the Artist system to ensure comprehensive communications. Because the mobile radios of the security vehicles patrolling the vast campsites were GPS-enabled, organizers were able to determine the user’s location immediately in the event of a problem or emergency.

Wacken Open Air Skype @ Wacken

For fast and trouble-free accreditation of the hundreds of working crew members, the organizers arranged a check-in location at the very border of Wacken. To welcome the team members with the right spirit and keep the local staff connected to the live event, Riedel deployed the company’s new STX-200 broadcast-grade professional interface. Capable of bringing any Skype user anywhere into the professional broadcast environment, the STX-200 was used to transfer live feeds from the stages into the check-in via the available public Internet connection and to facilitate a Skype connection between the production compound and the staff check-in area.