The reactivated MINISTRY, SCORPIONS, HAMMERFALL, AMON AMARTH and GAMMA RAY are the newly confirmed bands for next year's edition of the Wacken Open Air festival, set to take place August 2-4, 2012 in Wacken, Germany. Also scheduled to appear are U.D.O. and CRADLE OF FILTH.
MINISTRY's "farewell" tour, the "C-U-LaTour", started its North American leg on March 26, 2008 and concluded in Chicago on May 12, 2008. The final date on the trek took place on July 18, 2008 at the Tripod in Dublin, Ireland. During the performance, MINISTRY mainman Al Jourgensen repeatedly reaffirmed that it would indeed be the last-ever MINISTRY show. Due to a large demand for tickets, an extra gig was added at the Tripod on July 19, 2008. "Adios... Puta Madres", a live album featuring material culled from MINISTRY's "final" tour, was released in 2009 on CD and DVD.
When asked in a 2007 interview prior to "C U LaTouR 2008" if there would ever be a big MINISTRY reunion in 15 years, Jourgensen said, "I don't think so, my friend. First of all, who am I gonna get to reunionize with? I'm the fucking band. So unless I make a reunion with myself Whatever, no. I've got a lot of other stuff going on. Literally, I'm booked solid for the next 15 months. I know exactly what I'm doing for the next 15 months, plus I've got a record label [Thirteenth Planet Records], I've got a lot of other bands I need to baby-sit for. There would be no time, need, or inclination to every get some kind of redundancy going on."
Wacken Open Air was first held in 1990 as a small event for local German bands. By 1998 the event had become the major festival on the European metal calendar and has included over 70 bands from all over Europe, North America and Australia.
Wacken Open Air is usually held at the beginning of August and lasts three days, during which the festival-goers camp on several large camping grounds surrounding the actual festival area. The 70 or more bands perform across four separate stages over the course of the event.
The 2009 edition of Wacken Open Air set a sales record; it sold out on December 30, 2008. All 70,000 tickets were sold over 200 days before the start of the festival.
Wacken Open Air, which celebrated its 20th anniversary last year, was honored with a Live Entertainment Award in 2008 in the "Festival Of The Year" category. This award recognizes distinguished achievements in live entertainment and is given out by Live Entertainment Award (LEA) committee.