Nursing Home Escapees Found Safe & Sound at World's Largest Heavy Metal Concert


CORRECTION: Although widely reported, the essential facts of this article were later found to have been false. According to NPR , the two men were in fact escapees from a “home for people with mental health issues” who traveled to Wacken to have some drinks, not to attend the Wacken Open Air music festival — although they were said to have “obviously liked” the event. We apologize for the error.

To quote the music-loving rock and roll film, “School of Rock,” you’re not hardcore unless you live hardcore.

And these two gentlemen from a nursing home in Germany are most definitely living hardcore.

The men snuck out of their nursing home to attend the Wacken Open Air heavy metal festival in Germany. The four-day event claims to be the world’s largest heavy metal festival.

It all started on Aug. 3, when nursing home staff realized the two men were missing. They phoned the police, and the hunt was on.

Peter Berndt, a spokesman for the Itzehoe police department, said some of the details pertaining to the men’s adventure are unclear, according to The Washington Post.

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It appeared the men made the 25-mile trek to the festival using a combination of public transportation and walking.

How they managed to gain access into the event is also unclear. Who’s really going to deny two old headbangers the chance to attend the world’s largest heavy metal festival?

Around 3:00 a.m., according to USA Today, the men were found among the sold-out crowd. While they were safe from physical harm, a police spokeswoman said the men appeared to be “disoriented and dazed.”

After a night of ear-pounding festivities, the headbangers were likely in true need of some respite. But they didn’t want to leave.

“They obviously liked the metal festival,” police spokesperson Merle Neufeld told public broadcaster Norddeutscher Rundfunk.

But all good things must come to an end, and the men’s nursing home was eager for their residents’ safe return.

“They were then taken to the medical tent on the festival site and were sent back by taxi at around 6:30 a.m.,” Berndt told The Washington Post.

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“We had to explain to them why they had to go home — but in the end, they went back voluntarily.”

Wacken Open Air reposted a photo of other seniors enjoying the festival, adding that everyone is welcome to attend.

“Because you’re never too old to rock,” festival coordinators said.

This year’s festival was completely sold out, with an expected crowd of 75,000 people, plus two concert crashers, ready to rock.

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A graduate of Grand Canyon University, Kim Davis has been writing for The Western Journal since 2015, focusing on lifestyle stories.
Kim Davis began writing for The Western Journal in 2015. Her primary topics cover family, faith, and women. She has experience as a copy editor for the online publication Thoughtful Women. Kim worked as an arts administrator for The Phoenix Symphony, writing music education curriculum and leading community engagement programs throughout the region. She holds a degree in music education from Grand Canyon University with a minor in eating tacos.
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