Elderly metalheads escape nursing home to attend Wacken Open Air

(Image credit: Gina Wetzler - Getty)

UPDATE: According to the Associated Press (opens in new tab), police spokesperson Peter Berndt has given an update on the story to clarify that the pair were actually in their late 50s and had left a home for people with mental health issues on Friday night to enjoy a night in Wacken, close to the festival site.

Music fans are said to have contacted police after finding them both at a bus stop in the early hours of Saturday morning.

A previous statement by local police had reported that the pair had “obviously liked the metal festival.”

Two elderly men escaped from their German nursing home over the weekend so they could attend Wacken Open Air.

The festival featured artists including Judas Priest, Nightwish, Ghost, Behemoth, Gojira, Dimmu Borgir, Arch Enemy and more – with the Deutsche Welle (opens in new tab) website reporting that the pair sneaked out on Friday so they could take in some live music.

Staff discovered the two were missing from the home later that day and alerted police, who found them at 3am on Saturday morning at the festival site. Police reported they were “disorientated and dazed.”

Police spokeswoman Merle Neufeld told Norddeutscher Rundfunk: “They obviously liked the metal festival. The care home quickly organised return transport after police picked them up.”

Tickets for next year’s Wacken Open Air are now on sale (opens in new tab), with a handful of bands including Parkway Drive, Sabaton, Airbourne, Avatar and Meshuggah already confirmed.

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent more than 30 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. After initially joining our news desk in the summer of 2014, he moved to the e-commerce team full-time in 2020. He maintains Louder’s buyer’s guides, scouts out the best deals for music fans and reviews headphones, speakers, books and more. He's written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog and has previous written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky. Scott grew up listening to rock and prog, cutting his teeth on bands such as Marillion and Magnum before his focus shifted to alternative and post-punk in the late 80s. His favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Ned's Atomic Dustbin and Drab Majesty, but he also still has a deep love of Rush.