Enlarge The competition is going to be steep.

Win This Contest and Even Your Crappy Nü Metal Revival Act Can Play Wacken


Gather your instruments and a few bodies because if your band is good enough, you can share a stage with the big dogs at next year’s Wacken Open Air — all you gotta do is win a nationwide battle of the bands.

From now until midnight December 16, band submissions will be accepted for the fifth iteration of Wacken Metal Battle USA, a multi-city event that will ultimately crown one winning band and send them all the way to Germany to play one of the world’s biggest open air metal festivals.

Over the last four battles, bands from Philly, Anaheim, and San Diego have taken it all and played on the same bill and the same weekend as massive acts like Meshuggah, Opeth, and Megadeth.

WMBU Promoter and Artist Relations Eric Dow said there was a high level of excitement around the contest, having already successfully sent four bands to Wacken.

“I am very excited to announce Wacken Metal Battle USA 2023. The battle this year was extremely successful so we are not going to muck with the formula too much. One change is that I am happy to announce the addition of Salt Lake City to the battle. Who will wear the crown next year? Will San Diego be dethroned? Will Houston come up victorious? Will Akron send the champions to Germany? Make sure you follow the battle and find out who will represent the USA with pride in the battle at Wacken Open Air!”

Participating cities will host a series of qualifying rounds before holding a city final to determine which band will represent them in the contest. That band will then go on to perform at the national tournament, at which a winner will be determined and they’ll be sent to Wacken. But that’s not all. Once they’ve set foot in Deutschland, they’re going to face off against the national bands from 29 other countries from around the world. During that last event, respected local music industry representatives will judge the performers.

This year, 2023 battles will be taking place in Los Angeles, CA, Orange County, CA, San Diego, CA, Bay Area, CA, Portland, OR, Seattle, WA, Akron, OH, Salt Lake City, UT, Dallas, TX, Austin, TX, San Antonio, TX, Houston, TX and El Paso, TX with more to be announced at later date.

If you think your band has what it takes, you’re going to have to apply by visiting the contest’s website. Oh and there’s an emphasis on independent bands, so don’t even think about entering, Lars.

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