Over the years, iconic festivals have given rise to more and more independent festivals taking shape across the UK and Europe. Not to mention the fact that social media means the world is at your doorstep. With 1000’s of new bands to check out every month and 100s of new travel ideas to empty your bank account, you might be wondering which festivals give you the best bang for your buck.
We’ve put together a list of the best Rock and Metal festivals to check out in 2020. Some big, some on the smaller side so there should be something for everyone! We’ve tried to cover as many Rock/Metal genres as we can, spread across a few different European countries.
Here are the top Rock and Metal Festivals to check out in 2020.
Graspop Metal Meeting, Dessel, Belgium
Graspop Metal Meeting has been home to Heavy Metal heads since the mid 90s and in recent years has gained an incredible reputation. It started out as a local family rock festival and is now seen by many as one of the most reputable Metal festivals in Europe.
Previous artists have included Slipknot, In Flames, Rob Zombie, KISS, Fever 333, Anthrax, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Billy Talent, Limp Bizkit, Arch Enemy, Guns N' Roses , Cancer Bats, Anti-Flag, The Dead Daisies and more.
Sweden Rocks, Norje (Sölvesborg), Sweden
If you’re looking for the finest Hard Rock festival on the planet then Sweden Rocks is where you need to be! Not only has Sweden produced some of the best Rock artists in the last couple of decades, the Scandinavian country has built an amazing reputation for talented musicians so even if you haven’t heard of some of the bands, you’ll no doubt be blown away by their skills. Sweden also produces some of the finest beer on the planet!
Previous artists include Royal Republic, Slayer, Lucifer, ZZ Top, Hank Von Hell, The 69 Eyes, Lacuna Coil, Hardcore Superstar, HEAT, Crashdïet, Crazy Lixx, Pop Evil, Vixen, Stone Sour, Killswitch Engage, Alter Bridge, Rival Sons, Scorpions, Sixx A.M, Airbourne and more.
Wacken Festival, Wacken, Germany
Wacken festival in Germany is seen as very personal festival for many as they visit every single year. Wacken has some of the most dedicated fans on the planet and tickets for 2020 have already sold out, however, you may still be able to pick up some tickets on reseller websites. With over 70K people set to attend Wacken 2020, it’s going to be a hell of a party!
Previous artists include Meshuggah, Within Temptation, Alien Weaponry, Behemoth, Arch Enemy, Dokken, Turbonegro, Oomph!, Soilwork, Whitesnake, Steel Panther, Bullet for My Valentine, The Quireboys, Sepultura, Judas Priest, Black Label Society and more!
Lollapalooza Berlin, Olympiastadion Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Lollapalooza Berlin is definitely for fans of lighter Rock music.You won’t see any Heavy Metal here or crazy war paint on festival goers. Lollapalooza Berlin is also held in a Stadium so it’s not quite a festival vibe, however, if you want to visit Berlin and explore, as well as check out a festival whilst enjoying the comforts of an AirBnB then this is the festival for you!
Previous artists include Kings Of Leon, Twenty One Pilots, Pale Waves, Liam Gallagher, Wolf Alice, Foo Fighters and more.
Bloodstock Festival, Walton-on-Trent, Derbyshire, England, UK
A fairly recent edition to the Festival circuit is Bloodstock Festival. Founded in 2005, Bloodstock has become one of the UK’s most popular Heavy Metal festivals and frequently see’s rockers from all over Europe attend its annual Heavy Metal bash. Bloodstock also offers an eclectic mix of artists from around the globe so you’re almost guaranteed to experience some incredibly unique bands.
Previous artists include Thy Art Is Murder, Soilwork, Dee Snider, Cancer Bats, Dust Bolt, Judas Priest, Gojira, Wednesday 13, Suicidal Tendencies, Ghost, Megadeth, Municipal Waste, Mastodon, Behemoth, DragonForce, Black Label Society, Hellyeah, King Diamond, Anthrax, Accept and more!
Rebellion Punk Festival, Winter Gardens, Blackpool, UK
Not only is Rebellion Punk Festival now the biggest Punk Festival on the planet, it’s also one of the most well respected for its impeccable taste in artists every single year. If you want to experience what the real 77 Punk Era was all about, as well as check out some of the best new blood on the Punk Rock Scene then this is the ONLY punk festival you should be checking out. Held in the North of England in the sometimes sunny seaside town of Blackpool, tens of thousands of punks descend on this city every single year. It’s not a competition, but if you haven’t got the biggest Mohawk there, are you even there? This festival is NOT to be missed!
Previous artists include Public Image Ltd, Sham 69, The Casualties, The Business, The Exploited, Discharge, Rancid, Slaughter & The Dogs, UK Subs, dragSTER, The Damned, Cock Sparrer, The Vibrators, Bad Religion, Zero Zero, THE DICKIES and more.
Groezrock Festival, Meerhout, Belgium
If you’re looking for a more intimate venture when it comes to your Rock and Metal festival experience then Groezrock could be the place for you to go. Whilst most festivals see an attendance of 50K to 200K, Groezrock is a smaller gathering with around 20K people attending. Groezrock focuses on punkrock, hardcore, metalcore and skapunk.
Previous artists include Hatebreed, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, Less Than Jake, Terror, The Interrupters, Refused, Millencolin, Agnostic Front, Against Me!, Iron Reagan, The Dwarves, Social Distortion, Pennywise, The Hives, La Dispute, The Old Firm Casuals and more.
Hellfest, Clisson, France
Hellfest, also called Hellfest Summer Open Air, has been growing and growing every single year since its inception in 2006. Going from roughly 20K attendees during its first year, to now accommodating approximately 50K fans. Hellfest mainly focuses on Heavy Metal bands, however, they also include a decent mix of Hard Rock acts.
Previous artists include TOOL, Slash, KISS, Stone Temple Pilots, Clutch, Godsmack, Sisters Of Mercy, Architects, The Fever 333, Sum 41, Fu Manchu, Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats, Venom, Eagles Of Death Metal, Death Angel, Lamb Of God and more.
Bang Your Head, Balingen, Germany
Another rising star on the Festival circuit is Bang Your Head in Germany. Starting out in the mid 90s with a tiny crowd of just 600 people, BYH is becoming a very well known event but still small enough to feel somewhat of a more personal experience. The festival sees approximately 20-30K people per year.
Previous artists include Twisted Sister, Stryper, Warrant, Anthrax, Sebastian Bach, W.A.S.P, Hardcore Superstar, Warrior, Lita Ford, Queensrÿche, Amon Amarth, Girlschool, Foreigner, Motörhead, Alice Cooper, Overkill, Vain and more.
Copenhell, Refshaleøen, Denmark
Another intimate Heavy Metal festival taking place in the Scadinavian country of Denmark. Not only does this festival offer some incredible Heavy Metal artists, there’s also an authentic Viking Village where you can test out your battle skills and you can even destroy a car. Yes, destroy a car! The festival offers 3 large stages, great drinks and even a huge hall featuring pro skaters!
Previous artists include TOOL, Slipknot, Scorpions, Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators, Lamb of God, Kvelertak, Tesseract, Ozzy Osbourne, System of a Down, Airbourne, Norma Jean, Body Count, Marilyn Manson, Deftones, The Dillinger Escape Plan and more.
Hard Rock Hell Sleaze, Sheffield, United Kingdom
Hard Rock Hell Sleaze started in 2017 in Sheffield, United Kingdom and managed to sell out in its first year. This Festival is probably the smallest on the list with a 2K capacity limit. It’s actually an indoor festival that takes place on the Saturday and Sunday at an 02 Academy Venue. The festival has since sold out every year and will no doubt grow in the future. Get your hair spray and eyeliner ready for this one!
Previous artists include Crashdiet, Vain, Reckless Love, Love/Hate, The Cruel Intentions, yla's Dogs D'Amour, New Generation Superstars, Faster Pussycat and more.
Greenfield Festival, Interlaken, Switzerland
Now in its 15th year, Greenfield Festival takes place in the beautiful surrounds of the Swiss Alps. Interlaken is one of the oldest parts of Switzerland making it extremely popular with tourists in recent years. Although Greenfield Festival only comprises of two days, many travel for an entire week to experience the amazing scenery, and of course drink!
Previous artists include Slipknot, Limp Bizkit, Refused, The Bronx, While She Sleeps, Sick Of It All, System Of A Down, Volbeat, Foo Fighters, Kvelertak, Converge, Rammstein, HIM, Monster Magnet, Gallows, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Manic Street Preachers and more.
Resurrection Fest, Viveiro, region of Lugo, Spain
Now we’re travelling to sunny Spain for Resurrection Fest! Resurrection Fest began in 2006 with over 400 bands gracing its stages to date and also contributing millions of euros to the local economy. Tapas?! Resurrection Fest attracts approximately 50K people a year and plays host to an extremely eclectic mix of artists.
Previous artists include Bring Me the Horizon, Bad Religion, While She Sleeps, Refused, Black Label Society, Soulfly, Backyard Babies, Motörhead, Korn, Iron Reagan, Betraying the Martyrs, Slayer, Black Flag, The Exploited, Sylosis, Dead Kennedys, Municipal Waste, Kvelertak, The Bouncing Souls, Gallows and more.
Reading and Leeds Festivals, United Kingdom
Reading & Leeds Festival is without doubt one of the biggest and well known Rock festivals on the planet. It plays host to some of the biggest artists in the world and has produced some of the most memorable performances of all time. Including Nirvana’s infamous 1992 set featuring Kurt Cobain on stage in a dress.
With over 90K people attending, and one of the oldest festivals in the United Kingdom, Reading & Leeds Festival is one of the most iconic you can experience. Often selling out and leaving people desperate to get hold of tickets to see huge name artists headlining the main stage. Reading and Leeds Festival is an absolute MUST on your festival bucket list!
Previous artists include Foo Fighters, Iron Maiden, My Chemical Romance, The Strokes, Green Day, Eminem, Biffy Clyro, Queens of the Stone Age, Pixies, Linkin Park, Blur, Metallica, Ramones, The Distillers and more.
Rock AM Ring, Nürburgring, Nürnberg, Germany
Rock AM Ring is one of the largest festivals in the world with an estimated 150K people attending the two sites every single year. Rock AM Ring runs alongside Rock IM Park, however, the festivals are considered to be one in the same. Dating back to 1985, this is one of the oldest Rock and Metal Festivals in Europe and has seen some of the most iconic bands on Earth grace its stages.
Previous artists include Foo Fighters, Die Toten Hosen, Slipknot, Motionless in White, Bad Religion, Bastille, Body Count Feat. Ice-T, Eagles of Death Metal, Enter Shikari, Godsmack, Hollywood Undead, In Flames, Interpol, Lamb of God, Marilyn Manson, Motörhead, Papa Roach, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Soundgarden, Avenged Sevenfold, Marilyn Manson, Black Stone Cherry, Danko Jones and more.
Download Festival, Donington Park, Derbyshire, England, UK
It wouldn’t be a festival line up without the mighty Download festival, would it? One of the most beloved Metal Festivals in the United Kingdom has now spread its wings to other parts of the world, however, Donnington is the place to be for the original Heavy Metal experience.
Download Festival was originally Monsters Of Rock which started in 1980 and was considered by many as one of the original Heavy Metal Festivals in the UK. Donnington has become one of the most iconic Rock and Metal festivals on the planet and has seen almost every superstar step foot on its hallowed ground.
Previous artists include Black Sabbath, Slipknot, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Korn, Soundgarden, Motörhead, Aerosmith, AC/DC, Def Leppard, Kiss, Judas Priest, Mötley Crüe, Journey, ZZ Top, Whitesnake, Thin Lizzy, Faith No More, Guns N' Roses, Rob Zombie, Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators, Smashing Pumpkins, Judas Priest, Alice in Chains, Ozzy Osbourne, A Perfect Circle, Marilyn Manson, The Hives, Prophets of Rage, Linkin Park and more!
Author Bio: AC Speed
I started my career as a music journalist in 2013 and have been involved in the music industry as a touring musician, studio engineer and artist consultant since 2002, as well as previously being a signed artist. My passion for delivering high quality, informative music-related news is a daily driving force behind the content I create. Also a huge gaming nerd! Born in the United Kingdom and currently living in Sweden. Skål!
CONTACT ME HERE
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