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Coronavirus: Wacken Open Air, world’s largest metal festival called off

Coronavirus has forced the organisers of Wacken Open Air in Germany to call off the world’s largest metal festival.

Following the government’s decision to ban public events until August 31 to fight the spread of coronavirus, the organisers of the event said: 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.”

Wacken Open Air is the world’s biggest heavy metal festival. It normally attracts more than 75,000 fans to the northern German village of Wacken. The festival celebrated its 30th birthday in 2019.

It was scheduled to take place from July 30 to August 1.

Chancellor Angela Merkel yesterday announced that people in Germany will be required to continue keeping a 1.5 meters from each other and gather in groups no larger than two, unless they were members of the same household. “We need to understand that we will need to live with the virus as long as there is no medication or vaccine,” Chancellor Merkel said.

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“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,” the organisers said in a statement. “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.”

Wacken Open Air organisers are yet to decide on next year’s event. They said they will soon reach out to those who had already bought the tickets for this year’s festival. “We thank you for your trust during times which are unparalleled for all of us. Stay healthy – In Metal We Trust!”, they said.

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