The 2020 edition of Germany's long-running Wacken Open Air festival has officially been canceled due to the country's recently invoked ban on mass gatherings until Aug. 31 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The fest, which sold out in less than one day, was set to take place between July 30 and Aug. 1, featuring over 100 bands including Slipknot, Judas Priest, Amon Amarth, Mercyful Fate, Devin Townsend, At the Gates, Lacuna Coil and more.
In an official statement, the Wacken Open Air team expressed regret over the cancelation, but supported the German government's decision as they are most concerned about the safety and well being of all people.
Read the complete message, which was shared on Facebook, below.
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 unprecented [sic] 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 the more 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!
Your W:O:A Team
The cancelation is one of many blows being dealt to the live events industry as questions remain about when public gatherings around the world will return.
One public health expert told the New York Times Magazine he doesn't anticipate a return of large-scale live events such as concerts until fall 2021 "at the earliest." California governor Gavin Newsom forecasted that concerts will not be held until there is a coronavirus vaccine and herd immunity.
Wacken Open Air Festival 2020 Lineup
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