The 31. Wacken Open Air is in the books. At the world’s biggest metal festival, 83.400 fans witnessed spectacular shows by Judas Priest, Slipknot and Powerwolf. In total, more than 200 bands rocked nine stages, Sweden’s Amon Amarth even played an unannounced secret concert right underneath the famous Wacken skull.
The joy of finally being able to experience live music and a multi-faceted open air event with like-minded people from all over the world could be felt everywhere. Festival promoters Holger Hübner and Thomas Jensen commented: "The Wacken Open Air is back – finally! We missed the festival as much as the fans did. Now we’re very much looking forward to next year’s edition, which will offer four full days of live concerts for the first time. Tickets go on sale this Sunday evening.“
At a press conference held during the afternoon, police, fire department and emergency medical services as well as the local regulatory authority looked back on an exceptionally peaceful and trouble-free event. The number of occurrences in their respective fields all stayed below of those from 2019. For example, the number of times the fire brigade had to jump into action only was in the lower double digits, the number of cases for the police dropped by 60 percent.
Bands confirmed for 2023, four days of live music for the first time. A first glimpse of next year’s billing was announced on the main stages during the night. W:O:A 2023 will take place Aug 2-5, making it the first time the festival officially boasts four days of live music.
Headlining the event will be the mighty Iron Maiden: There is not a single metalhead that doesn’t know them. And it’s hard to think of a band that has defined classic heavy metal as much as they have. So consequently, there might very well be no band that is a better fit for the "holy ground of metal“. So in 2023, Iron Maiden will return to headline at the Wacken Open Air for the fourth time! So get ready for impressive production, a passionate performance, amazing music and of course Eddie! It has been seven long years since those iconic words have been heard: "Scream for me, Wacken!“
Also announced have been Megadeth from the USA, who are considered worldwide as originators of Thrash Metal and being part of the "Big 4“ of the genre. Also playing will be Irish-American folk-punks Dropkick Murphys and Jinjer from the Ukraine, one of the hottest bands in modern metal today. Two Steps From Hell, a duo from Los Angeles, have amassed millions of followers with their brand of „Epic Music“, used in thousands of movies, trailers, series, spots and games, turning them into the biggest in their field. At the W:O:A, their first festival ever and only festival in Europe in 2023, they will perform a special and unique Wacken set. Fans can look forward to doom pioneers Pentagram and their „50th Anniversary Show“, while death metallers Deicide will celebrate their genre shaping sophomore album "Legion“ with a special show as well. More announcements are: Wardruna (atmospheric Nordic folk), Beartooth (hardcore), Ensiferum (Viking metal), Nervosa (thrash), and Burning Witches (heavy metal). More bands to be follow.
In 2023, there will be once again a theme running through the whole festival: vikings and their culture. This will manifest itself in the overall appearance of the W:O:A as well performances and additional content all over the festival site.
Pre-sale has begun,
Tickets for Wacken Open Air 2023 are now on sale at metaltix.com. Fast-Tickets are sold with an exclusive special shirt, but are limited to 10.000 units. As soon as they are gone, Hard-Tickets go on sale. Pre-sale details can be found at metaltix.com and, starting Sunday, at wacken.com.
Metalheads that move fast could even get their hands on a real Harley Davidson motorcycle! Everybody purchasing a W:O:A ticket within the first 24 hours of the pre-sale starting is automatically entered eligible to win the this totally unique bike which has been customized with a high-class W:O:A paint job.
See you in Wacken. Rain or shine.
This year's Wacken Open Air has been cancelled
According to yesterday's decision by the federal German government all major events in Germany are banned until 31 August 2020 to prevent further spreading of the corona pandemic. This means that this year's edition of the Wacken Open Air, which has been scheduled to the period from July 30th to the 1st of August 2020, will not take place.
Wacken co-founder Holger Hübner explains:-
"We are facing an unprecedented situation and for the first time in 30 years we have to announce with a heavy heart that unfortunately there cannot be a Wacken Open Air this year. Our whole team has been working intensively on the festival these last last months and the more all of us are bitterly disappointed that we are not allowed to celebrate a Wacken Open Air together with our visitors and the bands this year."
His fellow co-founder Thomas Jensen adds:-
"This administrative order affects us heavily and we will need some time to process the bad news. Nevertheless, we support the decision of the German government in this difficult situation for the whole world. The health and safety of all visitors, artists, employees, tradesmen, security and rescue services, public authorities and all other participants has always been our highest priority. We as promoters are therefore bound to take an even greater responsibility and have to follow the instructions of the experts."
With regard to all other open questions such as W:O:A 2021 and the options concerning the already purchased tickets, we will return with another statement as soon as possible and kindly ask for a little patience.
The promoters of the Wacken Open Air would like to give their heartfelt thanks for the trust received in this unprecedented situation for everyone involved.
More information about the Wacken Open Air can be found at wacken.com.
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