To make festival season easier, the following list lays out which festivals are taking place throughout Europe, in chronological order. Now to choose which ones to attend...
May 18-27 in Lisbon, Portugal
Major Acts: Slipknot, Motley Crue, System of a Down, Metallica, Queen w/ Adam Lambert
Rock in Rio is one of the biggest music festivals in the world, spanning one entire week in May. Some of the metal and rock acts to be featured at the 2016 installment include Slipknot, System of a Down, Metallica, Queen with Adam Lambert, Korn, Ministry with Burton C. Bell, Faith No More, Mastodon, Queens of the Stone Age and Gojira among others.
June 3-5 in Mendig, Germany / Nurnberg, Germany
Major Acts: Black Sabbath, Korn, Volbeat, Red Hot Chili Peppers
Rock Am Ring and Rock Im Park will take place simultaneously, sharing the same billing of bands between the two festivals, which makes them one of the most unique events in the world. Both fests will see Black Sabbath, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Volbeat, Korn, Disturbed, Deftones, Bring Me the Horizon and more hit the stage in June in Germany.
June 10-12 in Leicestershire, England
Major Acts: Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Rammstein
The legendary Download Festival that takes place at Donington Park in England has become one of the biggest metal festivals in the world since its inception in 2003. The 2016 lineup features some of the biggest bands in the world with Rammstein, Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden each headlining a night of the three-day festival. Korn Deftones, Nightwish, Motorhead, Megadeth andDisturbed will all be performing as well, presenting a high-octane lineup.
June 17-19 in Clisson, France
Major Acts: Black Sabbath, Rammstein, Slayer, Ghost
Hellfest in France routinely packages some of metal’s most extreme acts alongside classic legends, making for one terribly good time. Taking place during three days in June, Hellfest 2016 will host Black Sabbath,Rammstein, Korn, Napalm Death, Slayer, Ghost, Deicide, Refused, Overkill and oodles more. Of course, Black Sabbath’s appearance will be part of their farewell tour.
July 14-16 in Balingen, Germany
Major Acts: Dragonforce, Testament, Overkill, Girlschool
With 2014 ending a five-year drought for Germany’s Bang Your Head!!!, the fest took some time off in 2015 only to come back strong for the next year. The 2016 installment will showcase bands like Dragonforce, Testament, Overkill, Equilibrium, Girlschool, Nazareth and more. Though not consecutively, Bang Your Head!!! 2016 will be the 10th run for the festival, which is quite an accomplishment.
Aug. 4-6 in Wacken, Germany
Major Acts: Iron Maiden, Arch Enemy, Bullet for My Valentine, Ministry
If you’re looking to attend Wacken 2016, good luck! The open air festival sold out 75,000 tickets back in August, proving the festival’s worth having announced just a handful of bands at the time. With more lineup announcements coming, Iron Maiden, Arch Enemy, Bullet for My Valentine, Ministry, Blind Guardian, Henry Rollins, Ihsahn, Therion and more have already been confirmed.
Aug. 11-13 in Obermehler, Germany
Major Acts: Exodus, Carcass, At the Gates, Paradise Lost
One of many festivals in Germany, Party.San Metal Open Air is one festival that caters more to the underground. With big names like Exodus, Carcass, At the Gates and Paradise Lost, the fest boasts some powerhouses too. With a slight bend towards black metal, Party.San has also lined up Mgla, Tribulation, Necros Christos, Nifelheim, Bolzer, and more, plus those yet to be announced.
Aug. 17-20 in Dinkelsbuehl, Germany
Major Acts: At the Gates, Exodus, My Dying Bride, Steel Panther
With more bands to be announced, Summer Breeze Open Air is stacking up an impressive lineup. So far, the festival has confirmed At the Gates, Exodus, My Dying Bride, Steel Panther, Primordial, Korpiklaani, the Black Dahlia Murder and more. The festival is celebrating its 19th year and continues to bring one of the best metal festivals to Germany.