We are delighted to announce the participation of seven international speakers, from the fields academic research, music journalism, event organising/management and an active metal performer:

Britta Görtz
(Singer of the bands Cripper and Critical Mess)

For more than a decade she has fronted the Hanoverian Groove-Thrash combo Cripper. Since 2016 she is also the frontwoman of the death metal band Critical Mess. Her extensive experience includes multitudinous live performances on international stages, video production, storyboarding, studio work and song writing.

According to her, metal must be lived, so the lessons must not be boring or too theoretical. Passion and a creative and confident handling of one’s own voice in shouts, screams and growls are cornerstones of her workshops.

Homepage: www.cripper.dehttp://www.criticalmess.de

Gérôme Guibert
(Université Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3, France)

Gérôme Guibert is Doctor in Sociology and Senior Lecturer at the Paris 3 Sorbonne Nouvelle University (Arts & medias Faculty and Irmeccen Laboratory). He has published a great deal of literature including La Production de la culture. Le cas des musiques amplifiées en France (2006). He is also co-founder of Volume!, the French journal of Popular Music Studies. His research is in the fields of economic sociology and local music scenes, with interests in the cultural development of music genres in France. He has co-edited with Fabien Hein the metal studies special issue of Volume! in 2006 (https://www.cairn.info/revue-volume-2006-2.htm). He is an advisory board member of the Metal Music Studies Journal.

Selected publications:
– G. Guibert, ” ‘Marche ou crève‘: The band Trust and the singular case of the birth of French heavy metal”, in G. Guibert, C. Rudent (ed.), Made In France. Studies in French Popular Music, New York, routledge, 2017, p. 89-104

– G. Guibert (with C. Guibert), “The Social Characteristics of the Contemporary Metalhead: The Hellfest Survey”, in A. R. Brown, K. Spracklen, K. Kahn-Harris, N. W.R. Scott (dir.), Global Metal Music and Culture. Current DIrection in Metal Studies, New York, Routledge, 2016, p. 167-189

– G. Guibert (with C. Guibert), “Metal characteristics : some statistics from the main French metal event (Hellfest)”, in T.-M. Karjalainen and K. Kärki (ed.), Modern heavy metal : markets, practices and culture (International academic conference proceedings), Helsinki, IIPC, 2015

– G. Guibert (with J. Sklower), Hellfest : the thing that should not be ? Local perceptions and catholic discourses on metal culture in France, Popular Music History (Heavy metal as Controversy and Counterculture issue directed by T. Hjelm, K. Kahn-Harris and M. Levine), vol. 6.2, 2011, p. 100-115

Anna-Katharina Höpflinger
(LMU Munich, Germany / University of Lucerne, Switzerland)

Dr. Anna-Katharina Höpflinger attended Religious Studies at the University of Zurich with a particular interest in classical antiquity. After completing her PhD on dragon-slaying myths, she has developed various research projects in the field of media and religion, particularly focusing on the body, gender, heavy metal, and burial culture in Europe.

Homepage: hoepflinger.comossarium.ch

Selected publications:
– Heesch, Florian/ Höpflinger Anna-Katharina (ed.), Methoden der Heavy Metal-Forschung. Interdisziplinäre Zugänge, Münster et al.: Waxmann 2014.

– Höpflinger, Anna-Katharina, „Wer will denn bitte noch hölzerne Wikingerstatuen?“ Eine akteurszentrierte Sicht auf das Politikverständnis im Schweizer Black Metal, in: Penke, Niels/ Teichert, Matthias (ed.), Zwischen Germanomanie und Antisemitismus. Transformationen altnordischer Mythologie in den Metal-Subkulturen, Baden-Baden: Nomos 2016, 139–158.

– Höpflinger, Anna-Katharina, Zwischen Normativität und Abgrenzung. Aggressivität und Gender in der Schweizer Black Metal-Szene, in: Heesch, Florian/ Hornberger, Barbara (ed.), Rohe Beats, harte Sounds. Populäre Musik und Aggression, Jahrbuch Musik und Gender, Hildesheim: Olms Verlag 2015, 119–130.

Holger Hübner
(Organiser of Wacken Open Air, Germany)

Holger Hübner was born on July 27, 1966 in Itzehoe, in the district of Steinburg.

After graduating, he completed an apprenticeship as an industrial clerk. Having completed his training, he initially continued working in the technical commercial area. In his free time, he worked as a DJ playing records for friends and in various clubs in the counties of Steinburg and Dithmarschen. Even then Heavy Metal was his favourite genre.

In 1990 he teamed up with Thomas Jensen and a few other friends from Wacken and organised the first Wacken Open Air.

In 1991, Holger Hübner, together with Thomas Jensen, founded the company “Stoned Castle Rock”, which initially also hosted the Wacken Open Air. In addition to the W:O:A, “Stoned Castle Rock” held concerts throughout northern Germany. At this time, the company had not yet specialised in the hard and heavy sector. From the “Fantastic Four” to “Marianne & Michael”, the company and thus Holger Hübner worked together with artists from all genres.

In 1999, a new company ICS GmbH was founded, with Holger Hübner as the managing director. The company covered a network of various firms:

In 2006, the ICS Festival Service GmbH was added, whose main field of activity today is the planning and organization of concert and events.

In 2009, Holger Hübner and Thomas Jensen founded the Wacken Foundation, a charitable foundation dedicated to supporting young bands, where projects such as CD recordings or tours are funded.

The company SH-Promotion GmbH & co. KG, which operates under the name Metaltix, also belongs to ICS. Additionally, as a worldwide artist agency, the booking agency Seaside Touring, has under contract around 30 bands of international renown. Through extensive experience in all areas of live entertainment, the ICS network is now also professionally established in the fields of record labelling, music publishing, Internet TV stations, radio and music management.

Holger Hübner currently employs around 50 permanent employees. Whilst in August, due to the festival, his company is one of the largest employers in the province of Schleswig Holstein.

Susanne Sackl-Sharif
(FH Joanneum – University of Applied Sciences Graz, Austria)

Susanne Sackl-Sharif works as a sociologist at the department of Media & Design at the University of Applied Sciences FH JOANNEUM in Graz, Austria. She completed her PhD in cultural sociology and systematic musicology with the thesis Gender – Metal – Video Clips and worked in different interdisciplinary research projects in Graz, Berlin and Vienna over the last eight years. She is a founding member of the study group “music | media | publishing” and a board member of the “Austrian Society for Gender Studies”.

For further information see: www.sackl-sharif.net.

Selected publications:
– Susanne Sackl-Sharif (forthcoming). „Von typischen Metal-Sounds und „femininen Touch hinter dem Gebrüll“. Überlegungen zum auditiven (Geschlechter-)Wissen von Metal-Fans“, in: Bernd Brabec de Mori & Martin Winter (Hg.): Auditive Wissenskulturen. Das Wissen klanglicher Praxis. Springer VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften.

– Susanne Sackl-Sharif (2015). Gender – Metal – Videoclips. Eine qualitative Rezeptionsstudie. Opladen/Berlin/Toronto: Budrich UniPress.

– Susanne Sackl-Sharif (2014). „Geschlechterbilder im sozialen Feld Metal. Reflexionen zu Methoden und Theorien der Videoclipforschung“, in: Florian Heesch & Anna-Katharina Höpflinger (Eds.): Methoden der Heavy Metal-Forschung. Interdisziplinäre Zugänge. Münster u.a.: Waxmann, pp. 153-171.

Karl Spracklen
(Leeds Beckett University, UK)

Karl Spracklen is a Professor of Music, Leisure and Culture at Leeds Beckett University, and the author of over ninety books, papers and book chapters on the sociology of leisure, culture and music. He is the Executive Secretary of Research Committee 13 (Sociology of Leisure) of the International Sociological Association. He is also a co-founder of the International Society for Metal Music Studies, and the Principal Editor of the journal Metal Music Studies. His latest book is The Palgrave Handbook of Leisure Theory, published in 2017.

Homepage: http://www.karlspracklen.com

Selected publications:
– Spracklen, K. (2017), ‘Sex, drugs, Satan and rock and roll: Re-thinking dark leisure, from theoretical framework to an exploration of pop-rock-metal music norms’, Annals of Leisure Research, published on-line at DOI: 10.1080/11745398.2017.1326156.

– Spracklen, K. (2017), ‘Bravehearts and bonny mountainsides: Nation and history in Scottish folk/black metal’, Rock Music Studies, 4(2), pp. 102-16.

– Spracklen, K. (2015), ‘“To Holmgard… and beyond”: Folk metal fantasies and hegemonic white masculinities’, Metal Music Studies, 1(3), pp. 354-77.

Holger Stratmann
(Publisher of Rock Hard magazine, Germany)

Holger Stratmann, 52, is the founder and publisher of „Rock Hard“, a media brands focussing on all types of heavy music. The „Rock‘n‘Roll Publishing House“ – still independent to the bone – is active in various areas. Besides the popular print magazine (with more than 350 issues), Rock Hard organises a renowned festival and invests in digital publishing (website, app) and e-commerce. Holger Stratmann is also known as journalist, photographer, book author and producer of a series of live recordings.