One of the biggest heavy metal festivals in the world, Germany’s Wacken Open Air, has canceled its 2020 edition due to the coronavirus pandemic. The three-day fest was set to take place July 30th through August 1st.
The festival had sold out all 75,000 tickets within 24 hours after going on sale a year in advance. Slipknot, Judas Priest, Amon Amarth, Mercyful Fate, and dozens more bands were set to perform at the massive event.
Organizers cited the German government’s decision to ban all mass gatherings through August 31st as the reason for the cancellation. The full statement from the festival officials reads as follows:
Yesterday, the German government decided that due to the Coronavirus pandemic, no mass gatherings will be allowed until August 31st, 2020. We are facing an unprecedented situation in our 30 years: It is with heavy hearts that we have to announce that there will be no Wacken Open Air this year.
Our whole team has been working intensively on the festival these last months and all of us are bitterly disappointed that we are not allowed to celebrate a Wacken Open Air with you. 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. Your health and safety have always been and always will be our top priority. We as promoters are therefore bound to take an even greater responsibility and have to follow the instructions of the experts.
Concerning Wacken Open Air 2021 and options for your already bought tickets, we will reach out to you ASAP but ask for a little bit of patience whilst we work through this. We thank you for your trust during times which are unparalleled for all of us.
Stay healthy – In Metal We Trust!”
Wacken Open Air joins such other massive European metal and hard rock festivals as the UK’s Download and France’s Hellfest in cancelling its 2020 edition. In the States, Sonic Temple, Epicenter, Welcome to Rockville, and Rocklahoma were all canceled.
A health expert recently told the New York Times that he didn’t expect concerts to resume until fall 2021, and the mayors of New York City and Los Angeles both stated that it would likely take until at least next year for mass gatherings to return.