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Remembering Motörhead Icon Lemmy: A Timeless Tribute At Wacken Festival 2023

A statue of Lemmy at Wacken Open Air. Credit: Didier Messens/Getty

The renowned British metal band Motörhead frequented Wacken Open Air Festival countless times throughout their extensive careers. As part of Wacken’s ‘Lemmy Forever’ celebrations this year, Lemmy’s ashes were enshrined ensuring Lemmy rests at several of his favourite places around the world.

On the momentous date of August 2nd, 2023, a spectacular event unfolded at the renowned Wacken Festival in Germany. It was a weekend like no other, known as “Lemmy Forever,” dedicated to celebrating the everlasting legacy of the legendary and immortal Ian ‘Lemmy’ Kilmister. Some of his ashes found their eternal resting place at the festival, honoring his unparalleled contributions to the world as one of the most influential and cherished cultural icons in history.

Lemmy, whose real name was Ian Kilmister, passed away in December 2015 at the age of 70, shortly after revealing his prostate cancer diagnosis. Festival co-organizer Thomas Jensen expressed deep honor at Lemmy’s return to Wacken, emphasizing the significant impact he had on the genre and beyond. The connection between Motörhead and Wacken Open Air has always been special, with few bands playing there as frequently as they did. Thus, Lemmy’s final resting place at Wacken holds profound meaning.

The band’s manager, Todd Singerman, shared their delight in Lemmy finding a permanent place at Wacken, a cherished home for him. Their aim was to ensure Lemmy’s resting places worldwide, allowing fans to pay their respects and celebrate his enduring legacy and influence. “He was a man of the people, and as such, he ‘lived’ in many places worldwide. It’s our aim to allow him to rest permanently in all his ‘homes’ globally and allow his fans worldwide to have a place close to them where they can both pay respects and celebrate his enormous continuing legacy and influence.”

Before his passing, Lemmy requested that some of his ashes be used for tattoos for Motörhead’s tour manager and production assistant. Additionally, he wanted his ashes to be placed inside bullets and sent to his loved ones.

Recently, the band’s rare 1998 cover of Metallica’s ‘Enter Sandman’ was officially released on major streaming platforms. The track was initially recorded for a wrestling company’s compilation album and had been limited to CDs and unauthorized online copies until Motörhead Day (May 8), when it became widely accessible.

Drummer Mikkey Dee stated earlier this year that Motörhead would never tour again under that name, out of respect for Lemmy. However, the band may perform occasional shows in the future.

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“Metal Mayhem: Wacken Open Air 2023 Confronts Muddy Challenges”

Christian Charisius/picture alliance/Getty Images

A thunderous metal gathering in Germany faced an unexpected halt as torrential rain turned the festival grounds into a quagmire. The renowned Wacken Open Air festival, a yearly extravaganza held in the fields near the village of Wacken in northern Germany, draws massive crowds of heavy metal enthusiasts.

This time, however, the persistent downpour transformed the once fertile farmland into an impassable swamp, creating major accessibility challenges. As a result, organizers were compelled to limit the entry to the sold-out festival for the first time since its inception in 1990. The worsening conditions led them to declare a “total admission stop” on Wednesday, causing only approximately 60 percent of the 85,000 ticket-holders to gain entry to the event, according to Germany’s dpa news agency.

A statement released on the festival’s website acknowledged the situation, saying, “Considering the weather conditions, the reasonable visitor capacity for Wacken Open Air 2023 has now been reached.” The event had already sold out before the rainfall commenced. The organizers expressed their regret, stating, “We are very sad, but the continuing difficult weather situation unfortunately leaves us no other choice.”

Those metal fans who possessed tickets but hadn’t arrived yet were instructed to turn their vehicles around and return home. Social media platforms featured videos illustrating the severity of the circumstances, with attendees, clad in anoraks, struggling to trudge through ankle-deep mud.

Christian Charisius/picture alliance/Getty Images

Some brave souls embraced the extreme conditions, with one individual daringly diving headfirst into the sea of mud while another decided to lie on his back in the dirt and wildly flail his limbs.

The muddy conditions also disrupted Wacken’s planned schedule, causing a postponement in the start of the festival. “This meant that six bands could not perform,” a statement on the website revealed. The festival had initially promised 150 bands across eight stages performing over four days.

Iconic bands like Iron Maiden, Megadeth, and Pennywise were among the acts set to perform at the event, which was scheduled to conclude on Saturday.

In a memorable episode from previous years, the festival gained attention for installing an underground pipeline to supply the site with the hundreds of thousands of liters of beer consumed by the enthusiastic revelers.