German pensioners break free from retirement home to attend heavy metal festival

Two elderly rebels broke out of a nursing home in Germany to attend a heavy metal festival over the weekend.

In what could have been a scene straight out of The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, the two men were found among the leather jackets and tattoos at Wacken Open Air heavy metal festival.

And according to the police, they were none too happy to be found — so much so that a patrol car had to accompany a taxi sent by the nursing home to make sure they returned.

The two ageing rockers, who have not been named under German privacy laws, went missing from a nursing home in Dithmarschen, close to the North Sea coast.

Staff at the nursing home quickly raised the alarm, but police did not track down the truants until 3am at the heavy metal festival in Wacken, half an hour’s drive away.

“The nursing home quickly organized transport back for the seniors,” police said in a statement. “However, the men were reluctant to go home, so a patrol car accompanied the taxi as a precaution.”

“They obviously liked the heavy metal festival,” Merle Neufeld, a police spokesman, told Norddeutscher Rundfunk radio, adding that they were “disoriented and dazed”.

Wacken Open Air claims to be world’s largest heavy metal festival, attracting 75,000 people over four days. Headline acts this year included Judas Priest, Danzig, Running Wild and Eskimo Callboy.

It is not clear which band the two elderly fans were watching, or whether they were at  the Headbangers Stage, the W:E:T: Stage or the Wasteland Stage.

Police said the sold-out event had passed off peacefully. “A big thank you to metal fans. You may look evil and you’re really loud, but as far as the police are concerned you’re the best fans in the world,” they said in a statement.

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The two elderly fans may have had reason to be thankful for this year’s heatwave. In previous years the festival has turned into a mudbath, but this year conditions were dry and clean.

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