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I have heard that the vast majority of visitors to Wacken Open Air rock music festival are men. Is this true? Are there any reliable figures on this?

I would like to go to Wacken Open Air and am looking in my circle of friends for people who come along. Most myths about Wacken Open Air I could disprove with the help of Wikipedia (article in German), but not this one. Here is the page in English.

Screenshot from livestream: enter image description here

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  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – JonathanReez
    Aug 5 at 22:31
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    I clicked the livestream of the festival and got a screenshot of the crowd. This is just a single band's audience on one of the main stages at night. The demographics could change depending on day, time, stage, and band. pic here: i.imgur.com/97rjYjQ.jpg Draw your own demographic conclusions.
    – selbie
    Aug 5 at 23:58

2 Answers 2

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I didn't find any actual statistics but anecdotally the audience is primarily male by a good margin. That appears to simply be a function of the music. Heavy Metal fans are primarily male. If you go to a Howard Carpendale concert you will find that almost all guests are female.

Wacken is considered to be very safe and friendly. The local police considers it "safe". Incidents are rare and the main reason for injuries are accidents with camping stoves. This is a very large festival with lots of beer, mud, crowd surfing, mosh pits, and loud music. Everyone needs to decide for themselves whether that's their idea of fun or not. While incidents of sexual aggression are not unheard of, they are exceedingly rare and less likely to occur than in your average bar on a Saturday night (which should not the case, but unfortunately is).

Most people in my circle of friends are bothered by the fact that the vast majority of visitors are men.

Why? Action movies are more often watched by men and rom-coms are primarily watched by women. This is exactly the same thing: there just happens to be a gender bias in media preferences both ways. What's wrong with that?

Postscript: A friend of mine was working security at a very large concert venue in Germany. According to him, the most aggressive fans he had to deal with were indeed middle aged women at a Howard Carpendale concert. Metal fans were comparatively well behaved.

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    Some of my worst interactions with concert audiences have been 70+ year old women at classical music venues. Some of them will just try to walk through you from behind, and then get angry that you didn't get out of the way... Aug 5 at 11:43
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    Besides that, metal heads are usually quite friendly. It is common etiquette, that if somebody falls in a mosh or circle pit, that you quickly form a circle around them, so they do not get trampled on and can get up again. On the other hand, I've also witnessed a person harassing others. A bigger metal dude came along, literally picked him up and threw him away. Didn't harass others again after that. Aug 5 at 17:11
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Granted, it has been quite a while since I last visited Wacken Open Air (2006 or 2007), so keep that in mind. But from my experience this rumour is not true. There's plenty of women around. Now, of course I didn't do any statistics while there, and it's true that the majority (ie >50%) are male, but it's far from being 90% of all visitors being men. I would say it's more like 60:40, or 70:30 at maximum. The reason being that it seems to be mostly men who like to listen to "extreme" music (why that may be I honestly have no idea).

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