List of heavy metal festivals

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List of heavy metal festivals
Brutal Assault 2012 main stages.jpg
General Information
Related genresHeavy metal, punk rock, rock music
LocationEurope and United States (origin)
Worldwide (current)
Related eventspunk rock festival, rock festival

This is an incomplete list of heavy metal festivals. Heavy metal (or simply metal) is a genre of rock music[1] that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United States and the United Kingdom.[2] 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.[3] Judas Priest helped spur the genre's evolution by discarding much of its blues influence.[4][5]

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[edit]

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)
Rock in Rio Brazil 1985–present 1.5 million people attended the first event.
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
Exit Festival Serbia 2000–present Exit 2006 had 22 stages.
Download Festival England 2003–present heavy metal and alt-rock focus
Bloodstock Open Air England 2001–present Heavy Metal festival
Hellfest Summer Open Air France 2006–present larger heavy metal festival

Current heavy metal festivals[edit]

Africa[edit]

Botswana[edit]

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
Overthrust Winter Metal Mania Festival[6] Ghantsi 2010–present May featuring local and African metal bands

Namibia[edit]

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
Swakop Rocks Swakopmund 2019-present September 1 day festival - Rock / Hard Rock / Punk
MothFest Swakopmund 2021-present February 1 day Rock / Hardrock / Metal

Asia[edit]

India[edit]

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
Bangalore Open Air Karnataka 2012–present July
NH7 Weekender 2010–present
Thunderstrock Festival Ranchi, Jharkhand 2008–present September

Indonesia[edit]

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
Bandung Berisik Bandung 1995–present June–September
Brotherground Surabaya November–December deathmetal, metalcore, deathcore, hardcore, etc
Doomsday Open Air Bandung October all heavy music
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[edit]

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

Mongolia[edit]

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
Noise Metal Fest Ulaanbaatar 2014–present April-May featuring local and international metal bands

Nepal[edit]

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
Silence Fest Kathmandu 2011–present September & November featuring local and international metal bands

Philippines[edit]

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
Pulp Summer Slam Quezon City 2001–present April large festival featuring metalcore, hardcore, thrash, death metal

Europe[edit]

Austria[edit]

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
Nova Rock Nickelsdorf 2005–present June
Kaltenbach Open Air 2003–present August
Rise up Festival Judenburg

Belgium[edit]

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 Metal Festival Deinze, Kortrijk since 2013 2008–present Beginning of August Started indoor but changed to an outdoor festival in 2013
Headbanger's Balls Fest Izegem 2012–present Beginning of May
Blast from the Past Festival Kuurne 2013–present December Old school heavy metal festival
Metalworksfest Kuurne 2017–present Beginning or mid March

Bulgaria[edit]

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

Czech Republic[edit]

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
Brutal Assault Jaroměř 1996–present August extreme metal, heavy metal, hardcore punk, experimental music
Fluff Fest Rokycany 2000–present July hardcore punk, grindcore, crust punk, sludge metal, metalcore, post-metal
Masters of Rock (festival) Vizovice 2003–present July heavy metal, power metal
Metalfest Pilsen 2007–present June heavy metal, power metal
Obscene Extreme Trutnov 1999–present July grindcore, death metal, hardcore punk

Denmark[edit]

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[edit]

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
Hard Rock Laager Vana-Vigala 2002–present June all subgenres of metal and rock
Howls of Winter Tallinn 2014–present February black metal

Finland[edit]

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
Dark River Festival Kotka August all subgenres of metal
John Smith Rock Festival Laukaa 2016–present July heavy metal, rock
Nummirock Nummijärvi 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[edit]

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

Germany[edit]

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
Bang Your Head!!! Balingen 1996–present July heavy, thrash, death metal
Chronical Moshers Open Air Mühlteich Hauptmannsgrün 1982–present June death/black/thrash
Dong Open Air Neukirchen-Vluyn 2001–present July all styles of metal
Elbriot Hamburg 2013–present August one-day festival featuring rock, heavy metal, hardcore punk
Euroblast Festival Cologne 2008–present October progressive rock/metal
Full Force Löbnitz 1994–present July hardcore, metalcore, punk, and metal
In Flammen Open Air Torgau July death/black/thrash metal
Metal Frenzy Open Air Festival Gardelegen, Saxony-Anhalt 2014–present June
Party.San Metal Open Air Schlotheim, Thuringia 2005–present August death, black, thrash metal
Ragnarök Festival Lichtenfels, Bavaria 2004–present April pagan, viking, black, death metal
Rhön Rock Open Air Hünfeld-Oberfeld, Hesse 2017–present August
Rock Hard Festival Gelsenkirchen 2003–present June heavy metal
Rock um zu helfen Freiberg, Saxony October rock genres
Summer Breeze Open Air Dinkelsbühl 1997–present August death, black, thrash metal
Wacken Open Air Wacken 1990–present August largest metal festival in Germany

Greece[edit]

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
Rockwave Festival Lamia, Athens 1996–present August

Hungary[edit]

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
Rockmaraton Dunaújváros 1991–present July

Mostly Hungarian bands(Black, Thrash, Metalcore, Deathcore, Punk rock)

Iceland[edit]

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
Eistnaflug Neskaupstaður 2005–present July featuring death, black, thrash metal and other rock music

Italy[edit]

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
Agglutination Metal Festival Chiaromonte 1995–present August
Gods of Metal Monza 1997–present June hard rock, heavy metal, metalcore

Latvia[edit]

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
Metal Show Jekabpils 2005–present August all metal subgenres; 2-3 day festival
Zobens un Lemess Bauska 2014–present June folk, pagan, metal subgenres; 3 day festival

Lithuania[edit]

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
Devilstone Anykščiai 2009–present July (mid) rock, metal
Kilkim Žaibu Varniai 1999–present June (end) black, viking metal and folk music

Netherlands[edit]

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
Amsterdam Metalfest Amsterdam 2015–present April & October one-day festival
Dynamo Metalfest Eindhoven 2015–present July
Fortarock Nijmegen 2009–present June/July large festival featuring all kinds of metal
Into the Grave Leeuwarden 2010–present August
MidsummerProg Valkenburg 2017–present June
Netherlands Deathfest Eindhoven (Effenaar) 2016–present May
ProgPower Europe Baarlo 1999–present October featuring power, progressive metal
Roadburn Festival Tilburg 1999–present April large festival featuring doom, stoner, death, black metal

Norway[edit]

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

Poland[edit]

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
Metalmania Katowice 2017–present March
Siekiera fest Wrocław 2019–present September 3 days, various rock & metal subgenres

Portugal[edit]

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
Paredes de Coura Festival Paredes de Coura 1993–present August large rock festival
Rock in Rio Lisboa Lisboa 2004–present May featuring rock, pop, metal
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
Vagos Open Air Lisboa 2009–present June featuring power, death, black, thrash, doom metal

Romania[edit]

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
Artmania Festival Sibiu 2006–present August art festival featuring gothic, doom, folk, heavy metal, progressive
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 Late August gothic metal, heavy metal, death metal

Russia[edit]

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
Big Gun Moscow 2019–present July 4/5-day heavy, power, mdm, thrash
Metal Over Russia Moscow July 3-day doom, death, black, dark, pagan, folk metal

Serbia[edit]

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
Exit Festival Novi Sad 2000–present July not strictly a metal festival; features pop, rock, electronic, hip hop, but has some death, black, thrash, doom metal

Slovenia[edit]

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
Metaldays Tolmin 2004–present July previously known as Metalcamp, featuring death, black, folk, thrash metal

Spain[edit]

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
Resurrection Fest Viveiro 2006–present July featuring hardcore, metalcore, thrash, death, black metal, punk,
Rock Fest Barcelona Barcelona 2014–present July featuring hardcore, metalcore, thrash, death, black metal, punk
Leyendas del Rock Villena 2006–present August mostly power and gothic metal

Sweden[edit]

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 and rock
Sabaton Open Air Falun 2008–present August organized by Swedish heavy metal band Sabaton, featuring bands from all subgenres
Sweden Rock Festival Sölvesborg 1992–present June featuring popular metal and rock bands worldwide
Jönköping Metal Fest Jönköping Spring and fall black, death, thrash metal

United Kingdom[edit]

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
Bloodstock Open Air Catton Hall, Walton-on-Trent 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
Darkness Guides Us Glasgow, Scotland November two-day indoor festival featuring black, pagan, extreme 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 l
Hammerfest Prestatyn, Wales 2009–present March
Hard Rock Hell Gwynedd, North Wales 2007–present November featuring heavy metal, hard/heavy rock, rock
Incineration Festival London, England 2014–present May extreme metal festival for fans of death metal, black metal, doom metal, thrash metal, and slam.

North America[edit]

Canada[edit]

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
Covenant Festival Vancouver, BC 2012–present June-July underground black and death metal.
Heavy Montréal Montreal, QC 2008–present July-August featuring popular metal, thrash metal, metalcore, nu-metal, hard rock

Mexico[edit]

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
Candelabrum Metal Fest León September
Domination Mx Mexico City May 2 Days
Force Fest Mexico City 2012–present November
Fronterizo Fest Tijuana 2017–present October
Hell & Heaven Metal Fest Mexico City 2010–present March 2 Day Open-Air Metal Festival
Knotfest México Mexico City 2015–present November
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[edit]

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
Aftershock Sacramento, CA 2012–present October featuring grunge, hard rock, heavy metal, nu metal, thrash metal, death metal, metalcore, punk rock
Epicenter Concord, NC 2019–present early May featuring hard rock, classic rock, post-hardcore, alternative rock, heavy metal, progressive metal
Louder Than Life Louisville, KY 2014–present September/October featuring hard rock, heavy metal, grunge, melodic death metal, post-hardcore, metalcore, power metal, gothic metal
Maryland Deathfest Baltimore, MD 2003–present late May featuring death, black, doom, grind, with attendance of 2,000-3,000
Mass Destruction Metal Fest Atlanta, GA 2017–present November featuring black and death metal
ProgPower USA Atlanta, GA 2001–present early September featuring power and progressive metal
Rebel Rock Orlando, FL 2020–present September featuring heavy metal, nu metal, metalcore, power metal, hard rock, post-hardcore
Rock Fest Cadott, WI 1994–present July featuring classic rock, hard rock, heavy metal, nu metal, post-grunge, metalcore, thrash metal, post-hardcore
Rocklahoma Pryor, OK 2006–present late May featuring heavy metal, hard rock, post-hardcore, thrash metal, death metal, nu metal, alternative rock, classic rock
Sonic Temple Art & Music Festival Columbus, OH 2019–present May featuring hard rock, alternative rock, heavy metal, nu metal, post-hardcore, metalcore, death metal, progressive metal
Welcome to Rockville Daytona Beach, FL 2011–present April/May featuring hard rock, heavy metal, metalcore, gothic metal, post-hardcore, industrial metal, death metal, alternative rock
70000 Tons of Metal Fort Lauderdale, FL 2011–present January featuring thrash, power, symphonic, folk, death, black metal, with about 2,000 attendees on a cruise ship

Oceania[edit]

Australia[edit]

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
Download Festival[7] Melbourne and Sydney 2018–present March Melbourne and Sydney in 2019

South America[edit]

Brazil[edit]

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
Rock in Rio Rio de Janeiro 1985–present September
Maniacs Metal Meeting Rio Negrinho 2016–present December
Armageddon Metal Festival Joinville May/June

Colombia[edit]

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
Rock al Parque Bogotá 1994–present August rock festival with death, thrash metal

Ecuador[edit]

Festival name Location Active Approx. time of year Notes
Quito Fest Quito 2003–present September

Tours[edit]

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

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Du Noyer (2003), p. 96; Weinstein (2000), pp. 11–13.
  2. ^ Weinstein (2000), pp. 14, 118.
  3. ^ Fast (2005), pp. 89–91; Weinstein (2000), pp. 7, 8, 23, 36, 103, 104.
  4. ^ Walser (1993), p. 6.
  5. ^ "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.
  6. ^ "African Heavy Metal Bands Give Back to their Communities". BORGEN. 10 September 2015. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  7. ^ http://downloadfestival.com.au/

External links[edit]