The promoters of Wacken Open Air, the world's largest heavy metal festival, have announced today that due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the edition planned for the end of July will not be able to take place as scheduled. The 31st edition of the cult festival will therefore take place in August 2022, from 04.08. to 06.08.
"We bleed our hearts! All visitors, musicians and the entire crew have put all their hopes on being able to celebrate together again in Wacken already this year in July, but we have no other choice but to wait a little longer. Health and safety have priority, there are no two opinions", Thomas Jensen, boss and founder of the festival explains.
His partner and co-founder Holger Hübner adds: "Even if we were able to hold the festival, many people would still not be able to arrive as planned due to travel restrictions. We are an international festival with people travelling to Wacken from over 80 nations. A Wacken Open Air, that's a festival for the whole world and for that we need open borders without quarantines plus we need safety for all people involved - especially for the people living in the Wacken region.“
The organisers would like to express their gratitude to the patient fans as well as to the authorities, politicians and other people involved who have worked hard to make the festival possible at the end of July. "The phased plan is an important step in the right direction and will allow many in our long-suffering industry to finally bring culture back to the stages this summer. Unfortunately, the openings come too late for our festival, but we are nevertheless very happy about the productive exchange in the districts and throughout the state.Everyone involved has pulled together." Hübner reports on the teamwork.
Ticket exchange to the following year is expected to start middle of June. "As before, we will offer our visitors a choice: They can exchange to 2022 or request a payout. Last year, well over 90% of fans opted to exchange to the following year and we are confident that we can continue to rely on the loyalty and trust of our fans. Those who want to support us additionally can also get some new fan gear during the process, which is only available as part of this exchange." Sabrina Schmidt from the ticketing team announces.
However, music fans do not have to completely give up on music in Wacken for the year 2021. The organizers are currently exploring ideas for a live music format this autumn, but are asking for a little bit of patience while they develop the concept. "We are currently looking into what is feasible and hope that the positive development of the situation will continue. If everything goes according to plan, maybe we can host a new event in Wacken this September to help restart live music. But we know for certain that metalheads will return to Wacken in summer 2022!" Jensen announces. More information and details on the dates for September will follow.
Photo: (W:O:A-promoters Thomas Jensen (left) und Holger Hübner (right)
Photo Credit: ICS Festival Service GmbH)