Wacken Open Air (W:O:A) is known as the biggest metal festival in Europe.
Every year, Wacken draws in almost 100,000 attendees to the German municipality, located near the town of Itzehoe in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. The festival has a reputation for attracting the biggest names in rock and heavy metal. Over the years it has seen legends such as Deep Purple, Alice Cooper, Twisted Sister, Saxon, Motörhead play alongside newcomers and underground acts.
This year, the festival headliners included Judas Priest, Danzig, Red Hot Chili Peppers and In Flames, the draw of which proved to be too much for a pair of local metalheads. The only issue was, they were supposed to be in their care home at the time.
At some point on Friday, August 3rd, two elderly residents of a local nursing home snuck out with the intention of attending the festival.
A police manhunt was initiated after staff at the nursing home realised the two residents were missing, according to a report by local news station NDR. They were found at around 3am on Saturday 4th, after a day of extreme metal.
Merle Neufeld, a spokesperson for the nursing home, issued a statement, outlining how concerned they were for the safety and wellbeing of their residents. Whilst the men were picked up in a slightly disorientated state, it is noted that they had a great time.
“They obviously liked the metal festival,” she continued. “The care home quickly organised return transport after police picked them up.”
What this story shows is that, whilst the manner in which this escape took place is not ideal, one is never too old to have fun and rock out. It is all too common to disregard the elderly in this respect. With any luck, the ability to attend music events and festivals is something which could be proposed to pensioners who were interested. Should safely and support be provided, it could prove to be an invigorating and worthwhile experience for all involved.
Maybe best to avoid the moshpits though.