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Kissing Looked Down On At Wacken Open Air Festival

05:01 PM Thursday 7/30/09 | |

When you think of a heavy metal festival, the first thing that comes to mind usually isn’t a lovey-dovey affair filled with smooches and cuddles. Just in case the crowd at this year’s Wacken Open Air Festival starts spooning and kissing up a storm, the health ministry of Germany's northern Schleswig-Holstein had a warning for the heavy metal heads.

The health ministry warned concertgoers to avoid "hugging, kissing on the cheek, and shaking hands" at the risk of spreading the H1N1 influenza, otherwise known as swine flu.

As one of the world’s biggest heavy metal festivals, the event is expected to bring in about 75,000 fans, which means the potential of tons of germs flying around the mosh pits.

The Wacken Open Air Festival, held in Wacken, Germany, kicked off today and runs through Saturday.

This year’s lineup includes Heaven And Hell, Drone, Bullet For My Valentine, Testament, Gwar, Motorhead, Saxon, Pain, Coheed And Cambria and Dragonforce.

"We know that kissing and what have you can't be ruled out," said ministry spokesman Oliver Breuer. "They're just tips."

The ministry also recommended that fans minimize the risk of infection by not sharing bottles of beer – no matter how tempting, considering the cost of beer at a concert.

Reuters reported that more than 430 worldwide have died from H1N1 influenza and more than 94,000 people have been, or are, infected.

Click here for the Reuters article.