Germany's Wacken Open Air festival has halted all admissions due to excessive rainfall and muddy festival grounds. Wacken Open Air was originally expected to have roughly 85,000 metal fans on site, but is capping it at those who have already arrived – somewhere around 50,000, according to DPA by way of the Associated Press.
"Considering the weather conditions, the reasonable visitor capacity for Wacken Open Air 2023 has now been reached," wrote the festival in an announcement. "Any further travel must be stopped and cancelled with immediate effect. For the first time in the history of the W:O:A this decision has been made.
"We are very sad, but the continuing difficult weather situation unfortunately leaves us no other choice. More information and answers to your most important questions can be found in the Q&A [here]."
Wacken further states that they'll "do everything possible to run a full programme." Wacken Open Air is being held between August 2 and 5, and includes Iron Maiden, Heaven Shall Burn, Helloween, Doro, Kreator, and more among its extensive lineup.
Fellow German festival Summer Breeze Open Air also showed support for their Wacken colleagues, saying in a statement "The SUMMER BREEZE supports WACKEN Open Air!
"Disappointed we had to observe how the situation in WACKEN developed. This is, especially after the dreary years of 2020 and 2021, something only a community like the metal community can handle. It was clear from the first report that the manufacturers were moving all levers to make the best of the situation. The WACKEN crew is staffed with innovative and skilled minds who work solution oriented. Metalheads belong on Holy Ground! It hurts when this pilgrimage can't happen for everyone. It's still nice to hear that those who made it to the court will celebrate even harder.
"The WACKEN OPEN AIR and the SUMMER BREEZE connects a friendship that has been long. Shortly after the first edition of SUMMER BREEZE in 1997, our then 19-year-old festival founder Achim Ostertag started the road to WACKEN for the first time. We take our hat off to the entire WACKEN Crew, all the helpers and of course all the metalheads, who are only rightly supporting the WACKEN Open Air.
One thing is certain!
"WACKEN – Rain or shine!
"With enormous metal appreciation, Your SUMMER BREEZE Team
"PS: During our preparations for the festival, the WACKEN stream is being played at the SUMMER BREEZE Headquarters."