in Wacken, Germany, August 2-5, 2023.

Wacken Open Air 2023 logo

Another Wacken Open Air festival is in the history books. Although it got off to a rocky start, or should I say muddy start, the promoters and crew worked diligently to keep this legendary festival a safe and incredible experience metalheads have come to love.

Wacken Open Air, Germany, August 2-5, 2023.
Photo: Jerry Alperin

There was a special celebration this year, a weekend long tribute to Motörhead’s Ian ‘Lemmy’ Kilmister took place, featuring a parade, communal toasts, and the enshrinement of his ashes at Lemmy’s Bar in the village of Wacken.

The enshrinement of Lemmy's ashes at Lemmy’s Bar in the village of Wacken, Wacken Open Air, Germany, August 2-5, 2023.
Photo: Jerry Alperin

There was so many things happening, it’s hard to decide what to write about. So I decided to just present to you some of the highlights, and a photo gallery for you to enjoy.

The Wacken return of Iron Maiden at the Harder Stage was the place to be. Headline performances from Megadeth, Kreator and Helloween, as well as Doro’s spectacular anniversary show and Pentagram’s 53rd anniversary featuring the return of Victor Griffin.

Further concert highlights today include the Frühshoppen show with J.B.O., Leaves’ Eyes’ Special Wiking and Deicide’s Legion. A Wacken premiere, Ville Valo (VV) entered a Wacken stage for the first time in his career, enchanting us with songs of his brand new solo album as well as some beloved HIM classics.

Masterplan celebrated the 20th anniversary of their self-titled debut album. Biohazard played their only German festival show this year. The festival also saw the first ever Germany show of Empire State Bastard, the brand new band of  Biffy Clyro’s Simon Neil und Mike Vennart, with Dave Lombardo and Naomi Macleod. After Heaven Shall Burn rocked the Faster Stage, and at the at W:E:T Stage, Sleep Token, before saying “Goodbye Wacken” with the Dropkick Murphys.

Metal Battle Winner

An emotional highlight of every W:O:A: During the official press conference, the winning bands of this year’s Wacken Metal Battle were crowned. A meeting of talented metalheads from all over the world, a big celebration of our favorite music and true support of the scene and the headliners of the future.

Doro at Wacken Open Air, Germany, August 2-5, 2023.
Photo: Jerry Alperin


  • Jerry Alperin

    Jerry is a reviewer, photographer and interviewer here at Metal Express Radio. Originally from the East Coast, he always wanted to find a warmer climate to call home. Fortunately for him, he wound up in San Francisco where the people are colorful, the sushi is delicious and the music diverse. He has been involved in the music industry in one form or another for over 30 years.

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