Interested Filipino metal bands may now apply to compete at the Wacken Metal Battle Philippines 2024 for a chance to represent the country on the international stage.

Last March 8, Wacken Metal Battle Philippines officially announced the opening of applications for its 2024 edition. The application period will be from March 8-April 8, 2024. Interested applicants may apply through the Wacken Metal Battle website while other requirement details can be found via the official announcement post on Instagram. Venue and date details for regional eliminations and the grand finals have yet to be announced. Watch this space for updates.

According to the Wacken Metal Battle site, the criteria for applicant bands are as follows:

  • Must currently be an independent band and is not about to be signed to a label in the near future.
  • Is able to play an all-originals 30-minute set.
  • Former regional winners of the competition cannot compete.
  • Bands who participated in regional battles but did not win are allowed to compete.
  • Winners of previous national or international finals cannot compete anymore.

Wacken Metal Battle Philippines was first held in 2022. Following metalcore veterans Valley Of Chrome in 2019 becoming the first ever Filipino metal band to grace the Wacken stage, it was announced in 2021 that Wacken Metal Battle would eventually expanded to include the Philippines in its list of countries that can qualify for its grand championship at Wacken Open Air in Germany. Since 2022, the national competition has had multiple regional finalists from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao with an international panel of judges ultimately crowning the year’s Philippine representative at a grand finals event in the form of a music festival. The 2022 and 2023 editions of the finals were both held at the Amoranto Stadium in Quezon City.

The competition has since seen progressive metalcore groups ORCA from Manila and Redeemed By The Blood from General Santos ultimately coming out on top to represent the Philippines in 2022 and 2023, respectively. This year, a total of three finalists will be chosen through regional eliminations to compete for the honor of representing the Philippines at Wacken Open Air 2024, happening July 31-August 3, 2024.

Wacken Open Air is one of the largest and longest-running metal festivals in world. Except for 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been traditionally held every year around the first weekend of August in the village Wacken in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany since 1989. It is regarded as one of most major annual congregations of metalheads in the world; boasting a wide variety of acts within the musical sub-genre every single year. Headliners in recent years have included the likes of heavy metal icons Iron Maiden, nu-metal propagators Slipknot, as well as thrash metal titans Slayer.

Wacken Metal Battle was first launched in 2004 as a way for unsigned bands within heavy music to get a chance to play at the highly regarded metal festival in Germany with more than 40 countries as of 2022 taking part in the annual quest to crown an overall victor. In its earlier iterations, the champions would win recording deals but more recently, winners were awarded the likes of cash prizes alongside international recognition. In 2022, the competition crowned Japanese metalcore group Sable Hills as its first winner since 2019. Also from Japan, melodic death/power metalcore fusion unit Phantom Excaliver emerged on top for the battle’s 2023 iteration.