San Antonio band Donella Drive reach the final in the battle to clinch a place at giant metal festival Wacken | Music Stories and Interviews | San Antonio

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Courtesy Photo/Donella Drive

Donella Drive is the second band from San Antonio since 2019 to make it to the W:O:A Metal Battle Finals.

San Antonio band Donella Drive have reached the final of a competition to determine which up-and-coming American band will head to Germany’s Wacken Open Air, the world’s most prominent heavy metal festival.

The trio won a Wacken-sponsored San Antonio Group Battle in February, then won the Texas State Finals on Sunday in Austin. Next up is Los Angeles’ famed Viper Room for the May 7 finale, where bands from across the United States will compete for a spot at the festival.

The Wacken attracts around 85,000 fans every year, making it one of the largest musical gatherings in the world. This year’s episode, which will run from August 4-6, will feature headliners such as Judas Priest, Slipknot, Lacuna Coil and Death Angel.

As part of the annual W:O:A Metal Battle, bands compete to represent their countries in a 30-country grand final at the festival, according to the contest rules. Bands in this pitch will be judged by “respected representatives of the local music industry” for a chance to win cash prizes, in case anyone was wondering.

San Antonio metal band Nahaya made it to the Metal Battle Finals in 2019 but fell to the San Diego Monarch, who clinched the Wacken slot that year. The festival was discontinued in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic.

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Evelyn C. Tobin