List of heavy metal festivals
General Information
Related genresHeavy metal, punk rock, rock
LocationEurope and United States (origin)
Worldwide (current)
Related eventsPunk rock festival, rock festival

This is an incomplete list of heavy metal festivals. The genre of heavy metal (or simply metal) is a subgenre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United States and the United Kingdom.[1][2][3] With roots in blues rock and psychedelic rock, the first heavy metal bands such as Black Sabbath and Deep Purple attracted large audiences, and during the late 1960s and mid-1970s these bands and others in their genre were featured at a number of historic rock festivals.[4] Judas Priest helped spur the genre's evolution by discarding much of its blues influence.[5][6]

After the genre fused with other related genres such as punk rock in the late 1970s, bands in the new wave of British heavy metal such as Iron Maiden and Saxon followed in a similar vein. Before the end of the decade, heavy metal fans became known as "metalheads" or "headbangers", and there were festivals worldwide, both touring and stationary, dedicated to heavy metal subgenres and heavy metal itself. During the 1980s, glam metal became a commercial force, while Underground scenes and extreme subgenres of metal such as death metal and black metal remained subcultural phenomena, though they have their own dedicated festivals as well. Since the mid-1990s, popular styles have further expanded the definition of the genre.

Historical heavy metal festivals

Selected historically notable heavy metal festivals held since the 1960s
Festival name Location Years Details
Myponga Pop Festival Australia 1971 pop festival headlined by Black Sabbath
Monsters of Rock England 1980-1996 music festival held in Castle Donington (later it branched into other locations)
Dynamo Open Air Netherlands 1986–2005 biggest annual metal festival during the 1990s, with 118,000 visitors in 1995
Moscow Music Peace Festival Russia 1989 part of an era of momentous change in the Soviet Union
Wacken Open Air Germany 1990–present larger heavy metal festival
Sweden Rock Festival Sweden 1992–present classic rock, hard rock and metal
Graspop Metal Meeting Belgium 1996–present larger heavy metal festival
Download Festival England 2003–present Hard rock, heavy metal, punk
Bloodstock Open Air England 2001–present Heavy Metal festival
Hellfest Summer Open Air France 2006–present larger heavy metal festival

Current heavy metal festivals

Africa

Botswana

Festival name Location Active Approximate time of year Notes
Overthrust Winter Metal Mania Festival[7] Ghanzi 2010–present May featuring local and African metal bands

Asia

India

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
Bangalore Open Air Karnataka 2012–present July
Thunderstrock Festival Ranchi, Jharkhand 2008–present September

Indonesia

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
Hammersonic Festival Jakarta 2012–present March–April all heavy music
Hellprint Bandung 2011–present November–March all heavy music
Rock In Celebes Makassar 2010–present November rock genres
Rock in Solo Surakarta 2004–present October–November heritage metal

Japan

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
Download Festival Chiba City 2019–present March
Loud Park Festival

Europe

Austria

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
Kaltenbach Open Air[8] 2003–present August
Nova Rock Nickelsdorf 2005–present June

Belgium

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
Graspop Metal Meeting Dessel 1996–present End of June One of the biggest metal festivals in Europe
Alcatraz Hard Rock & Metal Festival[9] Kortrijk 2008–present Beginning of August Started indoor but changed to an outdoor festival in 2013
Huginns Awakening Fest Oostende 2009–present April/May Thrash Speed Heavy metal festival
Headbanger's Balls Fest Izegem 2012–present Beginning of May
Blast from the Past Festival Kuurne 2013–present December Old school heavy metal festival

Bulgaria

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
Hills of Rock

Czech Republic

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
Brutal Assault Jaroměř 1996–present August extreme metal, heavy metal, hardcore punk, experimental music
Masters of Rock (festival) Vizovice 2003–present July heavy metal, power metal, rock
Metalfest Pilsen 2007–present June heavy metal, power metal, death
Obscene Extreme Trutnov 1999–present July grindcore, death metal, hardcore punk
Rock Castle Moravský Krumlov 2021-present August metal
Basin Fire Fest Spálené Poříčí 2003-present June metal, punk, international + local bands

Denmark

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
Copenhell Copenhagen 2010–present June featuring death, thrash, black, doom, heavy, power metal and hard rock
Aalborg Metal Festival Aalborg 2002–present November featuring death, thrash, black, doom, heavy, power metal and hard rock
Royal Metal Fest Aarhus 2008–present April featuring death, thrash, black, doom, heavy, power metal and hard rock
Viborg Metal Festival Viborg 2014–present March featuring death, thrash, black, doom, heavy, power metal and hard rock
Metal Magic Festival Fredericia 2008–present July featuring death, thrash, black, doom, heavy, power metal and hard rock

Estonia

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
Hard Rock Laager Vana-Vigala 2002–present June The biggest metal festival in Estonia[10]
Howls of Winter Tallinn 2014–present February black metal
Barbar Feast Saula 2019–present July The most epic metal festival in Europe![11]

Finland

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
Dark River Festival Kotka August all subgenres of metal
John Smith Rock Festival[12] Laukaa 2016–present July The best rock festival in Finland[13]
Nummirock Kauhajoki 1987–present June all subgenres of metal
Saarihelvetti Tampere August all subgenres of metal
Steelfest Open Air Hyvinkää 2008–present May black and death metal
Turku Saatanalle Turku 2011–present March black metal
Tuska Open Air Helsinki 1998–present July all subgenres of metal

France

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
Hellfest Summer Open Air Clisson 2006–present June up to 60.000 people; all subgenres of Metal
Motocultor Festival Brittany 2007–present August death, black, thrash metal
Plane'R Fest Colombier-Saugnieu 2012–present July all subgenres of Metal
Sylak Open Air Saint-Maurice-de-Gourdans August all subgenres of Metal, hardcore

Germany

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
Chronical Moshers Open Air Heinsdorfergrund 1982–present June up to 1.000 people; Death, Black and Thrash Metal
Dark Troll Festival Bornstedt 2009-present May put to 1.200 people; Pagan, Black, Folk, Post, Melodic Death, Death Metal, Celtic Metal
Dong Open Air Neukirchen-Vluyn 2001–present July up to 5.000 people; all subgenres of Metal
Elbriot Hamburg 2013–present August up to 12.000 people; Metal Festival in Hamburg[14]
Euroblast Festival Cologne 2008–present October up to 12.000 people; Progressive and Avantgarde Metal
Full Force Löbnitz 1994–present July put to 25.000 people; Hardcore, Metalcore, Punk and Metal
Impericon Festivals Leipzig, Hamburg, Munich, Oberhausen 2011-present March up to 11.000 people each Festival; biggest indoor festivals in Europe; Metalcore
In Flammen Open Air Torgau July up to 6.000 people; Death, Black and Thrash Metal
Metal Bash Festival Neu Wulmstorf 2002-present May up to 1.000 people; Black, Dark, Thrash, Heavy Metal, Hard Rock, Punk Rock, Rock
Mammut Festival Königsbrunn 2022-present March min. 500 people, but raises fast; all subgenres of Metal
Metal Frenzy Open Air Festival Gardelegen 2014–present June up to 5.000 people; Metal and Hard Rock
Party.San Metal Open Air Schlotheim 1996-present August up to 10.000 people; all subgenres of Metal
Ragnarök Festival Lichtenfels, Bavaria 2004–present April up to 4000 people; Black, Pagan, Viking, Death Metal
Rock am Ring Nürburgring, Adenau, Eifel 1985-present June up to 92.000 people; biggest rock festival in the world; Metalcore, Death Metal, Thrash, Heavy Metal, Punk Rock, Rock
Rock im Park Nürnberg 1995-present June up to 88.000 people; Metalcore, Death Metal, Thrash, Heavy Metal, Punk Rock, Rock
RockXplosion Leonberg 1984-present July up to 2.000 people; Death Metal, Metalcore, Hardcore Punk, Punk Rock
Rock Hard Festival Gelsenkirchen 2003–present June 7.000 people; Heavy, Power, Thrash and Death Metal
Rockharz Open Air Ballenstedt 1993/94-present July up to 24.000 people; all subgenres of Metal
Rock um zu helfen Freiberg, Saxony October rock genres
Reload Festival Sulingen 2006-present August up to 15.000 people; Metal, Hardcore, Punk & Party
Summer Breeze Open Air Dinkelsbühl 1997–present August up to 40.000 people; Death, Black, Thrash Metal
Under the Black Sun Friesack near Berlin 1997-present June or July up to 1000 people; Black Metal
Wacken Open Air Wacken 1990–present August up to 85.000 people; largest metal festival in Germany; all subgenres of Metal

Italy

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
Agglutination Metal Festival Chiaromonte 1995–present August

Latvia

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
Zobens un Lemess Bauska 2014–present June folk, pagan, metal subgenres; 3 day festival

Lithuania

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
Devilstone Anykščiai 2009–2023 July (mid) a retreat of freedom and rock & roll[15]
Kilkim Žaibu Varniai 1999–present June (end) black, Viking metal and folk music

Netherlands

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
Amsterdam Metalfest Amsterdam 2015–present April & October one-day festival
Dynamo Open Air Eindhoven 2015–present July
Into the Grave Leeuwarden 2010–present June
MidsummerProg Valkenburg 2017–present June
ProgPower Europe Baarlo 1999–present October featuring power, progressive metal
Roadburn Festival Tilburg 1999–present April large festival featuring doom, stoner, death, black metal
Metalyard Arnhem 2015–present April indoor festival featuring thrash, heavy metal, death, black metal and so on.

Norway

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
Inferno Metal Festival Oslo 2001–present April featuring black, death, thrash, doom metal
Karmøygeddon Metal Festival Kopervik 2004–present May wide range of metal subgenres
Garasjefestival Reinsvoll 2017–present July black, death, trash and other subgenres of metal

Poland

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
Mystic Festival Gdańsk 1999; 2001-2003; 2005; 2007; 2019–present June Heavy metal music festival[16]
Siekiera fest Wrocław 2019–present September The very first festival of a kind featuring great Polish bands[17]

Portugal

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
HARDMETALFEST Mangualde 1997–present January featuring power, death, black, thrash, doom metal
Laurus Nobilis Music Famalicão 2015–present August featuring power, death, black, thrash, doom metal
Rock in Rio Lisboa Lisboa 2004–present May featuring various genres
SWR Barroselas Metalfest Barroselas 1998–present April featuring power, death, black, thrash, doom metal
Vagos Metal Fest Calvão 2016–present August featuring power, death, black, thrash, doom metal
Evil Live Lisboa 2009–present June featuring power, death, black, thrash, doom metal

Romania

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
Artmania Festival Sibiu 2006–present August art festival featuring heavy metal
Metalhead Meeting Bucharest 2013–present June/July death metal, black metal, heavy metal
Rockstadt Extreme Festival Rasnov 2013–present August death metal, black metal, heavy metal
Metal Gates Festival Bucharest 2017–present November death metal, black metal, doom metal
Posada Rock Fest Campulung Muscel 1986–present
Maximum Rock Festival Bucuresti 2006–present Late August gothic metal, heavy metal, death metal

Russia

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
Metal Over Russia Moscow July 3-day doom, death, black, dark, pagan, folk metal

Slovenia

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
Metaldays Velenje 2004–present August previously known as Metalcamp and held in Tolmin, featuring death, black, folk, thrash metal
Tolminator Tolmin 2023–present July all styles of metal, attendance capped at 5000 visitors

Spain

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
Barcelona Rock Fest Barcelona 2014–present July featuring hardcore, metalcore, thrash, death, black metal, punk
Leyendas del Rock Villena 2006–present August mostly traditional, thrash, power and gothic metal
Resurrection Fest Viveiro 2006–present July featuring hardcore, metalcore, thrash, death, black metal, punk
Rock Imperium Cartagena 2022-present June mostly traditional, glam, power metal.
Z! Live Rock Fest Zamora 2016-present June mostly traditional, thrash and power metal.

Sweden

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
Gefle Metal Festival Gävle 2016–present July all subgenres of metal
House of Metal Umeå 2007–present February or March all subgenres of metal
Sweden Rock Festival Sölvesborg 1992–present June classic rock, hard rock and metal
Huskvarna Metal Fest Jönköping Spring and fall black, death, thrash metal
High 5ive Summer Fest Stockholm 2018–present Summer Metalcore, Hardcore, Pop Punk, Post-hardcore, Deathcore

United Kingdom

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
Bloodstock Open Air Walton-on-Trent, Derbyshire 2005–present August outdoor festival featuring death, black, thrash, folk metal, with attendance of 13,000 (2013)
Damnation Festival Leeds, England 2005–present November one-day festival featuring death, black, thrash, doom metal
Download Festival Donington Park, Leicestershire 2003–present June large rock festival featuring hard rock, nu-metal, metalcore, death metal, black metal and pro wrestling from NXT UK
Hammerfest Prestatyn, Wales 2009–present March
Hard Rock Hell Gwynedd, North Wales 2007–present November Three day metal festival held at a resort[18]
Incineration Festival London, England 2014–present May extreme metal festival for fans of death metal, black metal, doom metal, thrash metal, and slam
Monsters of Rock
Stonedead Festival Newark, Notts, England 2018–Present August One Day, One Stage, One Monster Rock Show[19]

North America

Canada

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
Gaspesian Metal Fest Matane June Underground metal festival
Hyperspace Metal Festival Vancouver April Canada's premier melodic & power metal festival

Mexico

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
Candelabrum Metal Fest León September
Hell & Heaven Metal Fest Mexico City (Toluca) 2010–present November - December 3 Day Open-Air Metal Festival, featuring death, thrash, black, doom, heavy, power metal & hard rock
México Metal Fest Monterrey 2016–present November 1 Day
Total Death Over México Mexico City 2018–present May 3 Day Underground Death, Black Metal Festival

United States

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
98RockFest Tampa, FL 2007–present April Metal, grunge and hard rock festival[20]
Aftershock Festival Sacramento, CA 2012–present October Hard rock and heavy metal festival[21]
AURA Fest[22] Savannah, GA 2017–present June All Underground Rock All Day[23]
Full Terror Assault[24] Cave-In-Rock, IL 2021–present September European style Open Air Festival for extreme music fans[25]
INKcarceration[26] Mansfield, OH 2018–present July Rock music and tattoo festival[27]
Legions of Metal Fest[28] Chicago, IL 2017–present June
Louder Than Life Louisville, KY 2014–present September Hard rock/heavy metal festival[29]
Mad With Power Fest[30] Madison, WI 2018–present August Power Metal/Traditional Heavy Metal festival[31]
Maryland Deathfest Baltimore, MD 2003–present May Extreme Music[32]
Mass Destruction Metal Fest[33] Atlanta, GA 2017–present November Extreme Metal Festival[34]
Milwaukee Metal Fest[35] Milwaukee, WI 1987–2004, 2023–present May
New England Metal and Hardcore Festival Worcester, MA 1999–2018, 2023–present September
ProgPower USA Atlanta, GA 2001–present September Progressive and Power Metal[36]
Rocklahoma Pryor, OK 2007–present September Hard rock and metal festival[37]
Sick New World Festival[38] Las Vegas, NV 2023–present April Nu-Metal Fest[39]
Sonic Temple Art & Music Festival Columbus, OH 2019, 2023–present May Hard rock and metal festival[40]
Welcome to Rockville Daytona Beach, FL 2011–present April/May Hard rock and heavy metal music festival[41]

Oceania

Australia

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
Blacken Open Air[42] Hale, Northern Territory 2016–present Various Open air 2 - 3 day festival, Not held in 2020 and 2021
Download Festival Melbourne and Sydney 2018–present March Melbourne and Sydney in 2019

Tours

The following is an incomplete list of traveling metal festivals, both active and defunct:

See also

References

  1. ^ Du Noyer (2003), p. 96; Weinstein (2000), pp. 11–13.
  2. ^ "The History of Heavy Metal". musicianwave.com. 9 August 2021. Retrieved 3 May 2022.
  3. ^ Weinstein (2000), pp. 14, 118.
  4. ^ Fast (2005), pp. 89–91; Weinstein (2000), pp. 7, 8, 23, 36, 103, 104.
  5. ^ Walser (1993), p. 6.
  6. ^ "As much as Sabbath started it, Priest were the ones who took it out of the blues and straight into metal." Bowe, Brian J. Judas Priest: Metal Gods. ISBN 0-7660-3621-9.
  7. ^ "African Heavy Metal Bands Give Back to their Communities". BORGEN. 10 September 2015. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  8. ^ "Kaltenbach Open Air". kaltenbach-openair.at. Retrieved 15 April 2024.
  9. ^ "History". alcatraz.be. Retrieved 25 September 2022.
  10. ^ "Live Report: HARD ROCK LAAGER 2017 Festival: "A Hidden Treasure In Deep Forests Of Estonia"". metalshockfinland.com. Retrieved 31 March 2023.
  11. ^ "Barbar Feast 2023". barbarrockclub.com. Retrieved 31 March 2023.
  12. ^ "John Smith Rock Festival 2023 in Laukaa (FI)". festivalsunited.com. Retrieved 4 April 2023.
  13. ^ "John Smith Rock Festival". johnsmith.fi. Retrieved 4 April 2023.
  14. ^ "Elbriot Festival 2016". tilogo.com. Retrieved 5 June 2023.
  15. ^ "ABOUT". devilstone.net. Retrieved 3 April 2023.
  16. ^ "Mystic Festival 2023". musicfestivalwizard.com. Retrieved 2 April 2023.
  17. ^ "SIEKIERA festiwal". siekierafest.pl. Retrieved 2 April 2023.
  18. ^ "Hard Rock Hell 2002". musicfestivalwizard.com. Retrieved 4 April 2023.
  19. ^ "One Day, One Stage, One Monster Show". stonedeadfestival.co.uk. Retrieved 2 April 2023.
  20. ^ "98ROCKFEST lineup:". tampabay.com. Retrieved 24 April 2023.
  21. ^ "Aftershock Festival Featuring Guns N' Roses, Queens of the Stone Age, Megadeth, Tool, Incubus, Pantera, and More Taking Place This Fall". 955klos.com. Retrieved 25 March 2023.
  22. ^ "AURA Fest announces". savannahnow.com. Retrieved 25 May 2022.
  23. ^ "AURA Fest announces". savannahnow.com. Retrieved 24 September 2022.
  24. ^ "Full Terror Assault". fullterrorassault.com. Retrieved 15 May 2022.
  25. ^ "About". fullterrorassault.com. Retrieved 24 September 2022.
  26. ^ "INKcarceration". mansfieldnewsjournal.com. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
  27. ^ "Inkcarceration announces lineup for 2022 rock festival at Ohio State Reformatory". richlandsource.com. Retrieved 2 October 2022.
  28. ^ "Legions of Metal Fest". reggieslive.com. Retrieved 15 December 2023.
  29. ^ "REVIEW: Here's What We Experienced At Louder Than Life 2022". leoweekly.com. Retrieved 25 March 2023.
  30. ^ "Mad With Power Fest". madwithpowerfest.com. Retrieved 20 August 2022.
  31. ^ "Mad With Power Fest". madwithpowerfest.com. Retrieved 24 September 2022.
  32. ^ "About Deathfests". deathfests.com. Retrieved 24 September 2022.
  33. ^ "Mass Destruction". massdestructionmetalfest.com. Retrieved 15 May 2022.
  34. ^ "MASS DESTRUCTION METAL FEST". earsplitcompound.com. Retrieved 24 September 2022.
  35. ^ "Milwaukee Metal Fest". milwaukeemetalfestival.com. Retrieved 16 December 2023.
  36. ^ EvilG. "Heart of Steel: Interviews Glenn Harveston Organizer of ProgPower USA". Metal-Rules. Retrieved 24 September 2022.
  37. ^ "Rocklahoma To Include MEGADETH, ROB ZOMBIE, DEVILDRIVER And More This Year!". metalinjection.net. Retrieved 24 April 2023.
  38. ^ "Sick New World Festival". sicknewworldfest.com. Retrieved 16 January 2024.
  39. ^ "Sick New World Festival Announces 2024 Lineup". stereogum.com. Retrieved 16 January 2024.
  40. ^ "Sonic Temple 2023". consequence.net. Retrieved 4 June 2023.
  41. ^ "Welcome to Rockville gives first look at 2022 lineup". clickorlando.com. 8 December 2021. Retrieved 3 September 2022.
  42. ^ "Blacken Open Air | Australia 2022". www.blackenfestival.com. Retrieved 13 June 2022.
  43. ^ "Headbangers Boat". headbangersboat.com. Retrieved 15 January 2024.
  44. ^ "Monsters of Rock Cruise 2024". monstersofrockcruise.com. Retrieved 17 January 2024.