Germany's annual Wacken Open Air, like some other international heavy metal festivals, is having a tough time finding the figurative ground to mount a comeback amid the pandemic. Wacken Open Air 2021, which until Tuesday (June 1) was still scheduled to take place this summer, has now been postponed to August 2022.

Also like other yearly events that have been waiting out the health crisis, that means Wacken Open Air will have taken a full two years off when the music fest finally returns. Wacken 2020 was understandably postponed to this year when the COVID-19 pandemic first began. Now, it's been pushed back 12 months yet again.

"It is with a heavy heart that we have decided that Wacken Open Air cannot take place at the end of July this year," the festival revealed this week in a statement on its website. "We therefore postpone the festival."

The message continued, "This decision was anything but easy for us, also because we know that you are already in the middle of the preparations and planning. Like we are, too. … For Wacken Open Air, however, the planned openings unfortunately will not arrive in time and, as always, the safety and health of everyone involved in the festival — fans, crew, artists and all residents of Wacken and the region — has absolute priority. But at the same time we are sure of one thing … we will all make the Holy Ground shake again and enjoy our common passion together."

Wacken Open Air 2022 is scheduled for Aug. 4-5, 2022, set to take place at the event's usual stomping grounds in Wacken, Germany. A lineup for the rescheduled event has yet to be announced — bands such as Slipknot, Judas Priest and Amon Amarth were originally named for the 2020 festival. Details about 2022 tickets and exchanges are coming soon.

For Wacken fans still looking for something to do in 2021, however, the festival revealed that, much like the previously announced Download Pilot, it's "currently working with the authorities to explore an idea for a new event in September 2021, to help with the restart of live music. Keep your fingers crossed for both of us so that the development will continue to be positive."

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