Two Men Escape From Nursing Home, End Up At German Metal Festival (Update: Or Not)

UPDATE: Sadly, the buddy-comedy saga of two old German men escaping their nursing home to attend a metal festival didn’t exactly go down like that. NPR reports that the men in question are actually 58 and 59 years old and had escaped “a home for people with mental health issues.” And they travelled to the town of Wacken just to have some drinks, not to rage out at Wacken Open Air, a misunderstanding propagated in part by contradictory police statements. Sorry folks — this one was just too good to be true.


What sounds like the plot of a comedy film played out Friday in Germany. As Deutsche Welle reports, two elderly men escaped from their nursing home and ended up at Wacken Open Air, a heavy metal festival in the small German village of Wacken.

After the nursing home alerted police to the men’s disappearance, they were discovered at 3AM on the festival grounds as the final performers were winding down. It’s unclear whether their original intent was to attend the festival. Also unclear is the nursing home’s location and the distance the men traveled to get to Wacken Open Air.

An unnamed police spokesperson said the men were “disoriented and dazed.” However, police spokeswoman Merle Neufeld told public broadcaster Norddeutscher Rundfunk, “They obviously liked the metal festival.” Police booked them a taxi and escorted them home, though they were reluctant to leave.

The four-day Wacken Open Air was founded in 1990 and attracts an estimated 75,000 people. It is billed as the world’s biggest metal festival. This year’s lineup featured the likes of Judas Priest, Sepultura, and Behemoth, with Friday in particular highlighted by Cannibal Corpse, In Flames, Nightwish, and Children Of Bodom.