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Ageing metalheads escape care home to attend sold-out W:O:A

Two elderly men disappeared from a German care home last weekend, only to be found hours later at Wacken Open Air, the world’s biggest metal music festival, Deutsche Welle reports.

After finding two of its residents missing, nurses at the care home alerted police. After searching throughout the day, the pair were later found at 3am at the festival, in a “disorientated and dazed” state, according to police spokesperson Merle Neufeld.

But despite appearing confused at first, Neufeld went on to suggest the two had definitely had a good time on their outing. “They obviously liked the metal festival,” she explained, adding the pair were reluctant to leave.

Wacken said the pair showed that you’re “never too old to rock”:

Alongside the two unlikely metal fans, around 75,000 people attended this year’s festival, the world’s biggest metal event. In a departure from Wacken tradition, instead of battling against fields of mud, this year’s guests were warned against the threats of fire and dust caused by this summer’s heatwave.

This year’s line-up once again featured a who’s who of hard rock and metal acts, with Judas Priest, Nightwish, In Flames, Ghost, Helloween and more bringing the noise to the capacity crowd in Wacken, Schleswig-Holstein.

Remarkably, the festival has also already almost sold out next year’s 30th-anniversary event, featuring Sabaton, Parkway Drive, Meshuggah and, in a German festival exclusive, Demons and Wizards, with a beastly 66,666 tickets sold as of yesterday.



Now in its 29th year, the latest edition of the festival also played host to the first ever esports arena at a festival. In partnership with the Electronic Sports League (ESL), the arena saw exhibition matches between professional teams, bands and amateurs throughout the weekend.

Building on the success of the arena, it was announced on 2 August at the festival that an esports academy would be established in a four-way partnership between Schleswig-Holstein’s government (Germany’s northernmost state), Wacken Open Air, the University of Applied Sciences West Coast and esports.com.

Daniel Günther, prime minister of Schleswig-Holstein, speaks of the deal: “Sports events help to raise the image of Schleswig-Holstein nationally and internationally and also generate revenue for tourism.”

“This includes modern event formats, such as esports events.”


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