The best music festivals for metal fans \m/

Devil horns and denim vests at the ready

Like your music heavy and your mosh pits bloody huge? Well these are the best music festivals for metal fans.


When: 8 June – 10 June 2018

Where: Donington Park, Derby

Why: The most celebrated hard rock and metal event in UK never disappoints. Each year they invite the biggest and best bands to Donington Park, and 2018 is no exception. Bringing the big guns, this year Avenged Sevenfold, Guns N’ Roses and Ozzy Osbourne will headline with Marilyn Manson, Bullet For My Valentine and Rise Against all also appearing. Huge.

Bloodstock Open Air

When: 9 August – 12 August 2018

When: Catton Park, Derbyshire

Why: The UK’s largest independent metal fest is going hard this year, with Gojira, Nightwish and the legendary Judas Priest topping the bill, as well as performances from Cannibal Corpse and Feed the Rhino.

Wacken Open Air

When: 2 August – 4 August 2018

Where: Wacken, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany

Why: Because it’s “louder than hell”, that’s why. And because of the mad line-up. This year there’ll be performances from a host of iconic acts, including Judas Priest, Skindred, Cannibal Corpse and Children of Bodom, as well as tons more.


When: 22 July – 28 July 2018

Where: Tolmin, Slovenia

Why: Not content with the UK’s offerings? Then venture abroad for heaps of excellent festivals boasting heavy line-ups. Slovenia’s brilliant Metaldays festival will be well worth the trip, with sets from Behemoth, Accept and Kataklysm as well as Judas Priest and Children Of Bodom, who seem to be doing the rounds this summer. And why not!

Aftershock Festival

When: 13 October – 14 October 2018

Where: Sacramento, California

Why: Keep the festival season going as long as possible with Cali’s Aftershock fest this autumn, or ‘fall’ as they call it in the US for some strange reason. With a 1990s friendly line-up, there’s headliners System of a Down and Deftones, as well as Alice in Chains, At the Drive-In, Underoath, Incubus and Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators.

Graspop Metal Meeting

When: 21 June – 24 June 2018

Where: Dessel, Belgium

Why: Guns N’ Roses! Iron Maiden! Ozzy Osbourne! That’s why.


When: 16 August – 18 August 2018

Where: Fernhill Farm, Bristol

Why: Self-proclaimed as the ultimate festival for “connoisseurs of math-rock, post-rock, noise-rock, alt-rock and everything in between” Bristol’s friendly ArcTanGent is strictly capped at a capacity of 5000 – so if huge crowds aren’t for you, this could be the more intimate offering you were looking for. This year you’ll be able to catch sets from Glassjaw, Arcane Roots, Shellac and And So I Watch You From Afar.


When: 4 May 2018

Where: Camden, London

Why: The London, multi-venue party will kick off your festival season in a perfectly doomy and sludgy fashion. This is the fest for the chinstroking, epically beardy metaller in your life. This year the line-up includes Napalm Death, space rock legends Hawkwind, cult heroes EyeHateGod, High On Fire, Monster Magnet and Weedeater. See you at the Devonshire Arms for the afterparty, yeah?

2000 Trees

When: 12 July – 14 July 2018

Where: Upcote Farm, Withington

Why: Excellent, hard-edged riffing in the beautiful countryside, what more could you want? This year they’ve got Turbowolf, And So I Watch You from Afar, Hell Is For Heroes and Creeper will and it’ll be your last chance to catch At The Drive In in the UK in 2018.