WACKEN OPEN AIR Festival Appears To Be In Jeopardy As Germany Limits Large Gatherings Through End Of August

April 15, 2020

Rock music festivals such as Rock Am Ring, Rock Im Park and Wacken Open Air appear to be in jeopardy after the German federal government banned all major events in the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced tentative steps to slowly start returning the country to normal, explaining that no large events such as soccer matches, concerts and festivals will be allowed before the end of August at the earliest. This comes in addition to personal lockdown, which has been extended through May 3.

Rock Am Ring, Rock Im Park, and Wacken Open Air are scheduled to take place from June 5-7 and July 30 to August 1, respectively.

Taking place in the municipality of Wacken in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, Wacken Open Air is the largest, most established heavy metal festival in the world.

Wacken 2020 sold all 75,000 tickets in the space of a few hours, and was scheduled to entertain over 150 artists performing across eight stages over 280 hectares of land.

According to Germany's Robert Koch Institute (RKI),the country has 127,584 confirmed coronavirus cases and has reported 3,254 deaths.

The German government last month passed a stimulus package worth 750 billion euros in a bid to help ease the effect of the virus.

A few days ago, Dr. Ezekiel "Zeke" Emanuel, a special adviser to the director general of the World Health Organization, told The New York Times that he doesn't anticipate it to be safe to return to concerts, sporting events and other mass public gatherings for another 18 months.

While musical acts have postponed tours and other events to later this year or early 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Emanuel predicted "fall 2021 at the earliest" for people to return to such events.

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