Wacken Metal Battle returning to Australia and New Zealand in 2022

The winning act will shred out to 75,000 punters at next year’s Wacken Open Air in Germany

Wacken Open Air’s annual Metal Battle contest has been revived for 2022, with an Australian and New Zealand season set to kick off next month.

It comes ahead of the German mega-festival’s comeback edition next August, having been put on ice for the past two years due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. A staple of Wacken’s community endeavours since 2004, the Metal Battle contest sees a group of foreign bands duel it out for a chance to perform at the main Open Air event.

With entries for next year’s local season closed, Destroy All Lines have announced that heats – where eight bands from each state will battle for a chance to play the finals – will kick off in Wellington on Saturday January 29.


Next year’s edition of Metal Battle will mark the contest’s debut in New Zealand, with Australia’s first edition going down in 2020 (albeit without the top prize due to Wacken’s cancellation last year).

The heats will continue in February, with events slated for Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne. The winning bands from each round will then compete in the final, set to take place at the Stay Gold bandroom in Melbourne on April 16.

Ticketing details are yet to be announced, but fans are encouraged to keep an eye out on the Metal Battle website. Punters can also keep up to date on the heats via Destroy All Lines’ website.

In addition to a spot on the Wacken Open Air line-up in Germany – where they’ll play to a crowd of 75,000 patrons, alongside the likes of Slipknot, Judas Priest, Limp Bizkit and Till Lindemann (of Rammstein fame) – the winning band will be guaranteed a spot on the bill for next year’s Good Things festival in Australia, set to return next December.


Wacken Open Air 2022 will take place in the titular village of Wacken, Schleswig-Holstein in Germany from August 4 to 6. In addition to the aforementioned headliners, bands set to appear at the festival – which is officially sold out – include As I Lay Dying, Lacuna Coil, New Model Army, Mercyful Fate and In Extremo. More details can be found on the event’s website.