The organizers of Wacken Open Air, a hard rock and metal festival in northern Germany, have asked visitors to leave their heavy metal at home. They issued a travel ban Tuesday for ticket-holders with cars and trucks due to the muddy terrain of the festival grounds.
The world-famous music festival is held every year in the Schleswig-Holstein state village of Wacken. This year's installment is scheduled to open Wednesday and run through Saturday. The organizers said that because of heavy rain in recent days and more expected, camping areas, the event grounds, and access roads, were in poor condition and no more vehicles could be allowed onto the site.
“Due to this extraordinary situation, please refrain from further journeys to Wacken,” a statement posted on the event’s website said. “We apologize to all metalheads for the delayed information. We are in constant, cooperative exchange with all relevant authorities and responsible persons to continue to ensure the safety of fans, employees, and all people in the region.”
The organizers already had asked visitors Monday to postpone their trips because of the rain and mud. They said Tuesday that attempts would be made to bring vehicles that were already in the immediate vicinity to the festival site.
“We have to tow each vehicle individually to the targeted parking space with a tractor, which takes a lot of time for every single vehicle. All tractors are in continuous use day and night in all areas,” the statement said.
The organizers did not immediately say how many of the 85,000 expected visitors were already on site, German news agency dpa reported. Tickets cost almost 300 euros ($328), and they said that information on what to do with any unused ones would follow soon.
More than 150 bands are expected to perform on eight stages, including the British band Iron Maiden. The festival grounds cover an area of more than 240 hectares (593 acres.)