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Wacken Open Air Goes Digital: Anthrax, Trivium, Alice Cooper and More Join In

The German metal festival floats a new virtual concert experience with Wacken World Wide, featuring performances, interviews, workshops and more

Rolling Stone India Jul 29, 2020

Founders of Wacken World Wide, the digital event of Wacken Open Air at the launch. Photo: ICS Marketing GmbH; Melinda Clabes

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The forthcoming 31st year of Germany’s Wacken Open Air would have been quite a way to celebrate three decades in the running, but owing to the coronavirus pandemic, one more long-standing festival had to press pause.

Originally taking place between July 29th and August 1st, fans instead have Wacken World Wide – what is described by the festival as a “mixed reality metal show.” A press release for the free livestream event adds, “In a specially built mixed reality studio, the production combines real show appearances, light performances and stage effects with the virtual Wacken set. Everything is virtual — and yet looks real.”

Performances include sets by the likes of American thrash legends Anthrax, an archival performance of British heavy metal favorites Iron Maiden, Swedish melo-death band In Flames, an interview plus concert with Alice Cooper, metallers Arch Enemy, Trivium, Body Count and more across four days, starting at 4 pm German time (7:30 PM IST). The festival will be streamed via an app called MagentaMusik360, owned by Wacken World Wide’s partnering company Telekom.

Even Wacken Metal Battle, which remains a proving ground for bands from all over the world, will get a spotlight during the event, with shows from prior competitors such as Canadian act Centuries of Decay, Spanish metallers Crisix and even Bangladesh-hailing Metal Battle winners Trainwreck.

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Wacken co-founder Thomas Jensen adds, “Since our fans cannot come to Wacken this year, Wacken is coming home – worldwide! Thanks to lots of positive reactions to our first announcement, we are very much looking forward to our Wacken World Wide premiere and can’t wait to celebrate it together with fans from all over the world at home!“

Wacken World Wide kicks off on July 29th, from 8:30 PM IST onwards. More details here. Watch a trailer below. 

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