Wacken Open Air has announced that the American metal institution SLIPKNOT will perform for the first time at W:O:A 2020, set to take place on July 31st – August 1st! Read below.
The band, founded in 1995 in Iowa, is not only known for the iconic masks of its members, but also for their extensive live performances with groundbreaking show effects. A sophisticated light and pyro show meets an only occasionally controlled madness, which mocks all comparisons with other bands.
And of course everything is right on the musical front too, as the album We Are Not Your Kind, which was released earlier this year, once again impressively proved. With songs like Nero Forte the band links to their classic hits like Psychosocial, while the experimental Spiders opens up new musical territory for the musicians.
We are proud to finally welcome this so important band to Wacken and to fulfill one of the biggest wishes of our fans since many years. We are looking forward to an extraordinary performance!
Iconic metal gods JUDAS PRIEST will be Inducted into The Hall of Heavy Metal History in 2018. The Ceremony will take place August 2, 2018 at Wacken Open Air, the world’s largest Heavy Metal festival.
The induction will take place just before the JUDAS PRIEST perform one of the biggest shows of their current ‘Firepower’ world tour.
“We have made sure that Judas Priest finally gets the Induction and respect they truly deserve,” says Pat Gesualdo, Founder/CEO of The Hall of Heavy Metal History. “We thank them for the decades of hard work and dedication to Heavy Metal, an art form they helped establish.”
An official statement from the band reads: “Judas Priest are thrilled and honored to accept induction into the Hall of Heavy Metal History and be amongst so many of our friends. This also sends a great message of inclusion for the Metal community around the world, and keeps us defending the Metal faith together.”
“Born Free” has been released as the second song and video from Kai Hansen’s show at last year’s Wacken Open Air. The performance of Hansen and his band can be watched on WackenTV and the song is available as an instant gratification track as part of the iTunes pre order.
Enjoy “Born Free” on WackenTV:
Filmed & recorded on a muddy vibrant summer evening at last year’s Wacken Open Air Festival, ‘Thank You Wacken’ is a unique snapshot in time as this was the first and only performance of Kai Hansen’s band, with whom he recorded and co-wrote his 2016 solo debut “XXX – Three Decades In Metal”. He was joined on stage by Alex Dietz on bass (Heaven Shall Burn), Eike Freese on guitar (Dark Age; and one of the most promising new talents in Germany in the recording studio as producer and engineer) Michael Ehré (Gamma Ray) on drums, Corvin Bahn on keys (Crystal Breed; who has also worked on records by bands such as Neopera, Lord Of The Lost & Beyond The Black), Clémentine Delauney (Visions Of Atlantis) and Frank Beck (Gamma Ray) on backing vocals. A special treat was the performance of Michael Kiske (Helloween, Unisonic) who joined Kai on stage to perform Helloween classics that for a few minutes set Wacken on fire.
This memorable concert will be released on the 23rd of June via earMUSIC and will be available on CD+DVD (Digipak), Blu-ray+CD including exclusive bonus tracks as well as on gatefold 2LP and digital.
1. Born Free
2. Ride The Sky
3. Contract Song
4. Victim Of Fate
5. Enemies Of Fun
6. Fire And Ice
7. Burning Bridges
8. Follow The Sun
9. I Want Out
10. Future World
11. All Or Nothing
12. Save Us
A Ronnie James Dio hologram made its debut at Germany’s Wacken festival
Over 75,000 fans were rocked at the Wacken Open Air music festival in Germany this weekend as the late Ronnie James Dio reunited with his bandmates via hologram, reportedBravewords.com. The surprise performance took place at the end of Dio Disciples‘ set to close the world’s largest annual live heavy metal event. Dio Disciples features members of the Dio band, which last performed with Ronnie in 2008 before he passed away two years later, leaving a void in the rock community. Eyellusion, a hologram entertainment company focused on the live music market, created the hologram and produced the groundbreaking performance.
Fan-filmed video footage has surfaced and can be seen below:
Almost one year in the making, Eyellusion’s Ronnie James Dio production represents the world’s first rock hologram performance and the first time a hologram has been accompanied by a live band in a traditional concert setting. The Wacken Open Air Festival marked the debut of the Ronnie James Dio hologram, which features the singer’s actual live vocals and will be toured globally in 2017, with further details to be announced.
Read an exclusive interview about the Ronnie James Dio Hologram and EyeIlusion here.
“When I first experienced the full production of Ronnie performing with his band as a hologram, I couldn’t believe my eyes and ears,” said Wendy Dio, who manages Dio Disciples and is also a member of the Eyellusion team, supporting industry relations. “With Eyellusion, we have been able to get Ronnie back up on stage where he belongs, ensuring that his music and memory live on. I want Ronnie’s fans around the world to share this experience.”
“We know how much the fans miss Ronnie and the special and unequaled element that he brought to his live performances,” said Craig Goldy, lead guitarist for Dio Disciples. “Being able to recreate that same kind of magic for his fans at Wacken was incredible. For so many years Ronnie always invested big in his live shows as his way to give back to the fans, and that is exactly what we aimed to do with this latest performance. We can’t wait to bring this experience to even more of his fans and perhaps even a newer generation when we bring this incredible live experience on the road next year.”
“At first I did not know what to think or to expect. But after I got over the initial surprise, it felt like Ronnie was still with us. It was wonderful, sad and emotional,” stated David James of California, a fan present for the performance at Wacken Open Air.
“I have watched quite a few hologram clips online and nothing can compare to the performance here tonight at Wacken – this was the most realistic of all. Amazing! Ronnie James Dio and metal will live forever,” added Anna Lorenz, a 25-year-old fan from Germany, also in attendance.
“Eyellusion is creating the best hologram content and live music productions for a completely new concert experience,” said Jeff Pezzuti, CEO of Eyellusion. “We’re taking every step to capture the excitement and energy that comes from seeing your favorite band perform live. That means when the lights go down in the venue, the amps are loud, the band sounds great and the pyro is blinding. We are creating an entirely new way for fans to experience their favorite music.”
Touring remains a viable revenue stream for many artists as music industry business models continue to evolve. However, it is not always financially or physically feasible to get to every market where there is demand. Further, massive loyal fan bases still exist for artists that are no longer able to tour or that can only do a set number of dates within a year. Eyellusion is expanding touring opportunities for emerging and established acts alike. In addition to unique shows based around digital recreations of artists, Eyellusion can stream live holographic performances of one show to many locations, opening global possibilities to play new markets and venues.
“The economics of making music are changing, with tours being more important than ever,” said Wendy Dio. “For artists who have been blessed with legions of fans around the world, the question is how to continue meeting the demand for your music. At the same time, newer acts are thinking about how to build a following and reach more people. Today, all artists need to find new, modern ways to connect with fans and Eyellusion is supporting those efforts.”
Eyellusion’s hologram and live production focus spans a range of genres, including rock, country, pop, EDM and more. Key team members include Wendy Dio, who supports industry relations, veteran rock manager Todd Singerman and Pat DiNizio of the Smithereens, who support artist relations, and Kenny Aronoff, world renowned live and studio drummer, who supports business development and technical live production efforts. Chad Finnerty at Digital Frontier FX is Eyellusion’s exclusive content creation partner, working directly with clients to help bring every project vision to the live stage. Legendary Hollywood digital effects executive Scott Ross advises Eyellusion on overall content production.
“Holograms represent a major opportunity for live music and fan engagement, but they have to be done right,” said Pezzuti. “We believe we’ve cracked the code on delivering the highest quality hologram-based events, creating the ultimate live music experience that keeps fans coming back. The Eyellusion team’s unmatched production capabilities and deep music industry ties bring crucial industry knowledge to our collaboration with artists as we work toward a shared vision of creating unforgettable shows. We can’t wait to see music fans everywhere on the road.”
For more information, visit EyellusionLive.com and follow Eyellusion @eyellusionlive on Instagram and Twitter.
A Ronnie James Dio hologram made its debut at Germany’s Wacken festival, and it may have a bright history ahead of it.
The fervent RONNIE JAMES DIO fans who gathered to watch a group of the late singer’s former bandmates close out Germany’s mega-sized heavy-metal festival Wacken Open Air Saturday night got a big surprise: a theatrical performance by Dio in hologram form, reports Kory Grow from RollingStone magazine. It bellowed “We Rock”, the singer’s gritty 1984 anthem and go-to encore song, and raised its hands in the singer’s trademark devil horns. But the company that created it hopes it will be the first of many shows.
The Dio hologram has been over a year in the making; it involved a team of people from across the music and tech industries working together to create a digital version of the frontman that could tour with Dio Disciples, a band that formed to keep the singer’s music alive after his death of stomach cancer in 2010. When they tell Rolling Stone about what it took to get it to Wacken, from conception to the musicians’ choreography, they each marvel individually at what they created.
“I cried the first time I saw it,” says the singer’s widow, Wendy Dio, who oversees his legacy. “It was quite, quite scary. Our crew, when they first saw it at rehearsal, they were in tears. It’s absolutely amazing.”
Dio Disciples guitarist Craig Goldy, who joined Dio’s eponymous band in 1986 and was a member off and on for the next two decades, first saw the hologram at a band rehearsal. “It was very surreal,” he says. “I could see him – he was moving and singing – but I couldn’t touch him. It was surreal almost to have him here again.”
Jeff Pezzuti – the CEO of Eyellusion, the company that made the hologram – was first inspired to get into the business of music holograms after seeing a Michael Jackson hologram moonwalk on the Billboard Music Awards in May 2014. He felt he could do something that would focus more on the concert experience, rather than the spectacle. “As the music industry has changed, touring has become the primary revenue generator for artists,” he says. “When I started Eyellusion, I realized we should focus only on the live music market.”
He began meeting with managers who represented artists across genres and formed an instant connection with Wendy, who was immediately receptive. It worked out for him, too, since he says Dio was “probably my first choice” for an artist to work on. He’d seen Dio on the Sacred Heart tour in 1985, and, in his words, “I was never the same again.”
“I knew about the Tupac hologram and everything, but what appealed to me was that this would be the first time with a live band; Ronnie’s band,”Wendy says. “So that was exciting.”
Together, they worked to make a hologram experience that would be authentic. They used a live recording, isolating Ronnie’s vocal track, and collected thousands of photos and videos of the singer to capture a look that wasn’t tied to any specific era, though Pezzuti was generally aiming for Dio’s late-Eighties look. “We’re celebrating Ronnie in his prime,” he says. “It’s the closest we are going to get to the real Dio and I think that’s really what it’s about.”
“Wendy said long ago that she wanted to try to make something spectacular occur for this band,” Goldy says. “We weren’t quite sure what it was going to be, but when she told us about this, we knew it was the right time.”
“When I first learned that a Dio hologram was in the works, I thought, ‘How is this even possible?'” Wacken festival founder Thomas Jensen says, prior to the performance. “We’ve all heard of holograms, but what Eyellusion and Dio Disciples were talking about was something different.”
Jensen realized that the hologram could generate buzz and decided it should close the fest, which has attracted as many as 75,000 headbangers in recent years. “We have a loyal audience and they loved Ronnie,” he says. “We’re fans of Dio Disciples and are always happy when we can have them, but the new element definitely raised our interest. It made sense to give them a prime spot so our entire audience could experience the Ronnie James Dio hologram.”
The idea of the Dio hologram also tilted the scales when it came to the release of a box set this year. The record label Rhino Entertainment, which creates archival releases for Warner Music Group, had planned on creating a Dio box set after earning two Grammy nominations and one win for its tribute compilation, Ronnie James Dio – This Is Your Life, in 2014. But when Wendy informed them that there was a Dio hologram in the works for Wacken, they rethought their release schedule. Subsequently, the release of A Decade of Dio: 1983 – 1993, which collects remastered editions of Dio’s studio LPs from Holy Diver to Strange Highways, was delayed until just before Wacken.
“Just putting out A Decade of Dio with remastered versions was enough of a sales driver for hardcore fans,” Rhino President Mark Pinkus tells Rolling Stone. “I can’t wait to see what happens next week after the big event this weekend.”
Pezzuti says he can’t compare the hologram to the Michael Jackson iteration. He credits Chad Finnerty at Digital Frontier FX, which worked on the look of it, with creating a Ronnie that was “incredibly fluid” and “looks amazing.” They shot the performance in 4K, which is about 17,000 frames. “The file does get big,” he says with a laugh. Staging the hologram at Wacken, Pezzuti says, was simple and could be set up easily in the 30-minute set changeover.
“We’ve worked hard on the performance,” Goldy says. “There are certain things that we have to get right, like playing to the click track for the beat. The hologram is synced with the audio of his voice from a particular performance, and that performance needs to be duplicated. I feel bad for [drummer] Simon [Wright] because he needs to listen to the click in his headphones the whole time. And we can’t all stand in one place; it needs to look like a performance so we’re going to choreograph some of the interaction.”
As for the song, “We Rock,” Wendy says it was between that, “Rainbow in the Dark” and Black Sabbath’s “Neon Knights.” “‘Rainbow in the Dark’ was our first choice and we did shoot that, but ‘We Rock’ is the song that he always used to finish the show with,” she says. “I just felt like it was the right song to do. And, of course, then Ronnie can pick a banner up that says ‘You rock.'”
In the future, “Ronnie” may be singing more songs, with the Wacken performance a teaser for Eyllusion and Dio Disciples’ future plans. Wendy thinks they can make six to 12 songs into performances. Pezzuti is hoping for 14 so they can have a rotating set list featuring songs from throughout Dio’s catalogue, including his turns fronting Rainbow and Black Sabbath. “It’s not about touring a hologram,” he says. “To me, it’s about touring a concert.” They hope to launch the Dio tour in 2017.
To get a foot in the door with the touring industry, Eyellusion has partnered with some music-industry vets. Wendy introduced him to Todd Singerman, manager for Motörhead and Anthrax, and they connected with drummer Kenny Aronoff, who has played with John Mellancamp and John Fogerty, among others. They’re currently in talks about producing holograms for other artists. (When Rolling Stone asks whether a Lemmy hologram is in the works, given Singerman’s involvement, Pezzuti says, “Well, we’ll see. Nothing official to announce there yet, but I see you do your research.”)
Pezzuti hopes to expand the hologram touring model to younger, living, breathing bands, too, by giving them the option to broadcast performances via hologram to any place where they’ve installed an Eyellusion setup.
Pinkus and Rhino are also excited about the future, with regard to the tour. “There’s so many terrific firsts,” he says. “It’s the first live band to use a hologram, first rock band to use a hologram. If this could be the first tour with a hologram, I think Dio fans are going to go nuts about it.”