On August 2, 2023, a giant tribute to MOTÖRHEAD‘s Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister took place, featuring a parade, communal toasts, and the enshrinement of his ashes at Lemmy’s Bar in the village of Wacken, Germany, where the annual Wacken Open Air festival is held.
Despite wretched weather conditions, nothing could derail the thunderous celebrations, which saw longtime MOTÖRHEAD members Phil Campbell and Mikkey Dee participate in an afternoon parade featuring several giant floats carrying hundreds of loud and raucous MOTÖRHEAD fans. The proceedings started at the festival site and headed through the town of Wacken to Lemmy’s Bar, where hordes of fans were waiting for the enshrinement ceremony, which saw Phil and Mikkey place Lemmy‘s ashes, which are contained in a smaller version of his custom urn, in a specially-prepared glass display next to his personal items including his hat, boots, bass guitar and Marshall stack.
Fans were also treated to a re-enacted version of Lemmy’s Dressing Room, which contained all his favorite things such as books, newspapers, whiskey, of course, and even his beloved Kinder Eggs with a toy, and the building itself was adorned with various MOTÖRHEAD-themed murals, including one of Lemmy himself.
Later, at night onstage, headlining rocker Doro Pesch (an old friend of Lemmy‘s) was joined on stage by Phil and Mikkey for “Love Me Forever” and “Ace Of Spades”, which saw the crowd go crazy and underscore the enormous presence Lemmy carries as an immortal man of the people. As the band played “Ace Of Spades”, a flurry of drones flew above the stage forming Doro‘s logo, Lemmy‘s face, and the Lemmy & Wacken Forever logo. Throughout the day (and doubtless into the remaining days of the festival), toasts were raised in Lemmy‘s name.
“Lemmy loved playing Wacken; there was a long relationship as we played for the first time in 1997 and returned many, many times,” said Dee. “It is quite natural that he is returning now and has another place forever.”
“It’s great that Lemmy will be at Wacken forever among such good friends,” said Campbell. “And I’m glad there’s another home where people can raise a toast to him.”
The Lemmy Forever at Wacken celebration was part of a wider movement that started at last year’s Hellfest, and sees Lemmy enshrined and celebrated at select spots around the world, which he loved and allowing fans a place to gather, remember and honor him.