The world-famous heavy metal festival in Wacken has recently been canceled twice. At the beginning of August, 75,000 “metalheads” are expected again for the first time in the North German Plain.

After two quiet summers, the meadows in Wacken, Schleswig-Holstein, are supposed to be cracking again. After the cancellations in the wake of the corona pandemic, the world-famous heavy metal festival Wacken Open Air (W:O:A) is about to restart (August 4th to 6th).

“All signs are green and we are going full throttle in planning,” said festival co-founder Thomas Jensen of the German Press Agency. The metal fans have some catching up to do after the long break. “The Spirit has not suffered.”

In 1990, 800 heavy metal fans celebrated in the small town for the first time. After that, the festival got bigger and bigger, most recently 75,000 fans came regularly. Then there was Corona and apart from an internet edition, there was peace. “We’re doing everything we can to make it the party of the year – but even that’s not really enough,” said Jensen.

You can rely on the Wacken fans

The festival organizers also had to deal with the consequences of the pandemic. “But we had it much easier than all the many little ones,” said Jensen. “That’s why I was always positive.” The more than 30-year-old tradition of the W:O:A helped. «I am very happy that I meet many well-known names at meetings.» Nevertheless, the industry is struggling with logistical bottlenecks. “We have to look at every nook and corner that we come up with the man numbers.”

More than 95 percent of the fans had exchanged their tickets for the festival, which was canceled last year due to the corona pandemic. The rest of the 75,000 tickets were raffled off via a waiting list. “We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the fans because they’ve been incredibly supportive of us over the past two years,” said Jensen. That was an “incredible leap of faith”.

Judas Priest, Slipknot, Limp Bizkit, Hämatom, Slime and In Extremo, among others, want to play on Wacken’s two big festival stages at the beginning of August. “But we also had band cancellations that we are anything but happy about,” said Jensen. Some bands are in a different situation than three years ago. “People broke away from them too. Top guitar technicians had to take other jobs for economic reasons.»

As an example, Jensen cited the cancellation of Rammstein singer Till Lindemann with a solo project, who is on a European tour with Rammstein. «Anyone who knows Wacken knows: postponed is not lifted.» Rammstein is one of the strongest brand ambassadors for Germany. “Many industrial companies can learn a lesson from the outside world.”