Who’s ready for some rock and metal festivals in 2016? The festival experience is unlike anything else, where rockers can get together with a group of their closest friends, sometimes traveling half way around the world to see their favorite bands play together. People make new friends, linking new chains in the armor that bind this community together so well.
The following list covers rock and metal festivals taking place in North America.
March 19 in San Bernardino, Calif.
Major Acts: A Day to Remember, Underoath, August Burns Red
The third annual Self Help Fest will feature the return of festival founders A Day to Remember who did not perform at last year’s installment. The headliners will be rounded out by a reunited Underoath and August Burns Red. Additional acts include the Wonder Years, the Story So Far, Yelawolf, Issues, Crown The Empire, Further Seems Forever, Letlive, Thy Art Is Murder, Tonight Alive, Moose Blood, One OK Rock, and Cruel Hand. More bands are expected to be announced as well.
April 15 – 16 in Worcester, Mass.
Major Acts: Bury Your Dead, Killswitch Engage, the Black Dahlia Murder, Unearth
New England Metal and Hardcore Fest is back for their staggering 18th installment! The popular Massachusetts festival brings together premiere acts from both namesake genres split between a small and raucous upstairs stage and the larger downstairs venue. Fans can bounce back and forth with ease to catch their favorite acts, which will include Killswitch Engage, Unearth, Bury Your Dead, the Black Dahlia Murder, 36 Crazyfists, Zao, and more. This year the festival has been scaled down from three to two days, but still packs one mighty punch.
April 30 – May 1 in Ft. Myers, Fla.
Major Acts: Rob Zombie, Five Finger Death Punch, Disturbed, Shinedown
Fort Rock 2016 is bursting with some of rock and metal’s biggest bands. The first day of the festival is more catered to metal with Rob Zombie, Five Finger Death Punch, A Day to Remember, Megadeth, Anthrax, Lamb of God, Ghost, and more playing. The second day will showcase rock’s leading bands likeDisturbed and Shinedown along with Bring Me the Horizon, 3 Doors Down,Sixx A.M., Pennywise, Bullet For My Valentine and more.
April 30 – May 1 in Orlando, Fla.
Major Acts: KISS, Def Leppard, Evanescence, Buckcherry
The inaugural Moonstone Music Festival will be held in Orlando Florida in a busy festival weekend. The lineup boasts some of Rock’s biggest sensations, including KISS and Def Leppard as the headliners. The fest will feature over 100 acts from bands to comedians. Evanescence, Queensryche,AWOLNATION, Sebastian Bach, Scott Stapp, Kansas, Steel Panther the Flaming Lips, RavenEye, Vintage Trouble, White Buffalo and Super Blood and more will all be playing as well.
April 30 – May 1 in Jacksonville, Fla.
Major Acts: Disturbed, Shinedown, Rob Zombie, ZZ Top, Five Finger Death Punch
Running simultaneously with fellow Florida festival Fort Rock, Welcome to Rockville will share a similar lineup as the bands rotate headlining days. The first day of the fest will see Disturbed, Shinedown, 3 Doors Down, Bring Me the Horizon, Sixx A.M., Hellyeah, Asking Alexandria and more. The second day boasts Rob Zombie, ZZ Top, Five Finger Death Punch, Megadeth, Lamb of God, Cypress Hill, Sevendust, Ghost and others.
May 6-8 in Charlotte, N.C.
Major Acts: Scorpions, Five Finger Death Punch, Disturbed
Entering its sixth year, Carolina Rebellion has booked another star-studded lineup to span its three days. Headlining Friday will be Scorpions along with ZZ Top Lynyrd Skynyrd, 3 Doors Down and more. Five Finger Death Punch,Shinedown, A Day to Remember, Lamb of God as well as others will play on Saturday. Finishing up the festival on Sunday will be Disturbed, Rob Zombie,Deftones, Alice Cooper and a huge mix of rock and metal artists. Carolina Rebellion will kick off on May 6 in Charlotte, N.C.
May 13 – 15 in Atlanta, Georgia
Major Acts: Florence and the Machine, Jane’s Addiction, Deftones
Shaky Knees Music Fest boasts a rather eclectic bill that veers on the alternative and hard rock spectrum. The fourth annual festival will feature acts like Florence and the Machine, My Morning Jacket, Jane’s Addiction performing Ritual de lo Habitual in its entirety, a reunited At the Drive-In,Deftones, Ghost, Against Me!, Baroness, Eagles of Death Metal, Kylesa and many more. There will also be food trucks and vegetarian options for festival goers to get a flavor of southern cuisine.
May 14 in Kansas City, Kanasas
Major Acts: Disturbed, Seether, Hellyeah
The Kansas City Rockfest is only a one-day festival but it crams a whole lot of rockin’ in! Disturbed, Seether, and Hellyeah are all at the top of the bill, but the rest of the lineup is a can’t-miss. Other acts who will be appearing are Ghost,Sixx: A.M.,Trivium, Jackyl, Drowning Pool, Sevendust, Escape the Fate, Pop Evil, Red Sun Rising, Saint Asonia, Like a Storm and the Veer Union.
May 14-15 in Somerset, Wis.
Major Acts: Disturbed, Korn, Rob Zombie, Shinedown
Wisconsin is going to get heavy in mid-May when Northern Invasion rolls into Somerset. Featuring Disturbed, Korn, Rob Zombie and Shinedown as the big highlights, the fest will also showcase acts like Chevelle, A Day To Remember,Bring Me the Horizon, Seether, Lamb of God, Ghost, Sixx A.M. Pop Evil,Sevendust, Clutch and more over the weekend. Northern Invasion is now entering its sophomore edition and has secured a venerable lineup, to say the least.
May 20-22 in Columbus, Ohio
Major Acts: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Disturbed, Rob Zombie
The 2016 edition of Rock on the Range will be the festival’s 10th anniversary and they have quite the lineup to mark the major milestone. Headlining this year’s fest will be Red Hot Chili Peppers, Disturbed and Rob Zombie and will also feature other acts like Shinedown, Five Finger Death Punch, Bring Me the Horizon, A Day to Remember, Megadeth, At the Drive-In, Lamb of God and so many more. May is billed as the “world’s loudest month” with so many festivals taking place and this lineup will surely leave some ears ringing.
May 20-22 in Schaghticoke, N.Y.
Major Acts: Five Finger Death Punch, A Day to Remember, Shinedown
FRIDAY, SATURDAY, SUNDAY! The inaugural Rock’n Derby will not only feature heavyweight rock acts like Five Finger Death Punch, A Day to Remember and Shinedown serving as headliner, it’ll have camping, a demolition derby, wrestling and food trucks! Is there anything more rock ‘n’ roll than a bunch of cars smashing into each other? Rock’n Derby doesn’t think so either. Also on the bill are Megadeth, Halestorm, Sixx A.M., Lamb of God,Ghost, Anthrax, Coheed & Cambria, All That Remains, Parkway Drive,Collective Soul, Extreme, Like a Storm, Red Sun Rising and more. The fest is set to take place May 20-22 in Schaghticoke, N.Y.
May 26-29 in Baltimore, Md.
Major Acts: Testament, Venom, Samael, Repulsion, Doom
Maryland Deathfest will be entering its 14th year of bringing the finest death metal and grind acts from across the world to the east coast city in the United States. Like all previous years, the MDF lineup is a can’t miss four day festival with performances coming from Testament, Venom, Samael playing Ceremony of Opposites in its entirety, Repulsion, Doom, Nuclear Assault, Impaled Nazarene and dozens more.
May 27-29 in Pryor, Okla.
Major Acts: Scorpions, Disturbed, Five Finger Death Punch
Rocklahoma will be celebrating its 10th anniversary, a major milestone for any festival. They’ve compiled quite an eclectic bill with some for every school of metal and rock fan. At the top of the bill are Scorpions, Disturbed and Five Finger Death Punch and Rob Zombie. Chevelle, Megadeth, 3 Doors Down,Bullet for My Valentine, Steel Panther, Sevendust and more will also play over the fest’s three-day span. As always, Rocklahoma will provide another memorable Memorial Day weekend.
May 29 in San Antonio, Texas
Major Acts: Disturbed, Scorpions, Megadeth
The fourth instalmment of the River City Rockfest in San Antonio, Texas boasts one of the most impressive lineups a one day festival could ask for. Tapping three of the biggest acts in heavy music, Disturbed, Scorpions and Megadeth, the festival also counts Bullet for My Valentine, Hellyeah, Sixx: A.M., Pop Evil,Sevendust, P.O.D., the Sword,Hatebreed, Texas Hippie Coalition, DevilDriver,Red Sun Rising, Avatar and Wild Throne among its ranks.
June 9 – 12 in Manchester, Tenn.
Major Acts: Pearl Jam, Lamb of God, Clutch
Bonnaroo is an eclectic music festival that regularly draws crowds from all over the vast musical spectrum. While its focus is hardly on rock and metal, they recognize the attraction of heavier music and the balance it provides for the rest of the billing. The 2016 installment will feature Pearl Jam, Lamb of God and Clutch, who will serve as the ambassadors for rock and metal against a billing full of more electronic and indie-oriented artists.
July 14-16 in Cadott, Wis.
Major Acts: Slipknot, Hollywood Vampires, Alice in Chains
Rock Fest is one of the most enduring festivals around, now entering its 23rd year! Taking place over the course of three days between July 14-16 in Cadott, Wis., they have assembled one impressive lineup boasting major acts like Slipknot, Hollywood Vampires and Alice in Chains. Also making appearances will be Five Finger Death Punch, Breaking Benjamin, Marilyn Manson, Rise Against, Bullet for My Valentine, Skillet,Queensryche, All That Remains, Scott Stapp, In This Moment, and a lot more!
July 15 – 17 in Bridgeview, IL.
Major Acts: Rammstein, Slipknot, Disturbed
Chicago Open Air will be making its debut in 2016 and boasts an imposing lineup with headliners Rammstein (making their only U.S. appearance of 2016), Disturbed and Slipknot. Other acts include Chevelle, Ministry,Meshuggah, Korn, Breaking Benjamin, Gojira, Helmet, Five Finger Death Punch, Marilyn Manson, Bullet for My Valentine, BabyMetal and dozens more.
August 6 in Bangor, Maine
Major Acts: Seether, Disturbed, Volbeat
The fourth annual Rise Above Festival, which was founded by Seether, will feature some of Rock’s biggest powerhouses aside from founders. Joining them will be Disturbed, who will headline the Main Stage, Volbeat, Volbeat, Alter Bridge, Beartooth, Killswitch Engage, Hatebreed, Memphis May Fire, We Came as Romans and I Will Prevail.
August 6-7 in Montreal, Canada
Major Acts: Five Finger Death Punch, Disturbed, Nightwish, Volbeat
Heavy MTL is back with its eighth installment! This year’s lineup is one of the most varied the festival has ever seen, featuring major hard rock acts to cult grindcore legends. Five Finger Death Punch, Disturbed, Nightwish and Volbeat are some of the bigger acts, along with Mastodon, Breaking Benjamin,Killswitch Engage and Black Label Society. Also appearing will be Ghost,Carcass, Suffocation, Repulsion, Biohazard, Alter Bridge, Blind Guardian, Attila,Saint Asonia and a bunch more. Heavy MTL will be held between Aug. 6 and 7 in Montreal, Canada.
August 26 – 28 in Las Vegas, Nevada
Major Acts: Down, Sleep, Blue Oyster Cult, Candlemass
With 23 bands announced so far, this isn’t even half of it! With bands like Down,Sleep, Blue Oyster Cult, Candlemass already confirmed, Psycho Las Vegas already has the makeup of a solid festival. Throw in Mudhoney, Yob, Death (Detroit), Pentagram, the Crazy World of Arthur Brown, A Storm of Light and more and you’ve got quite a lineup. Check back for more announcements as the rest of the billing gets revealed.
Sept. 2-4 in Denver, Colo / Sept. 16-18 in Chicago, IL. / TBA in Toronto
Riot Fest usually takes place across three different cities, with Denver and Chicago being announced thus far. While fans anxiously await the lineup announcements for one of the most eclectic festivals for heavy and alternative music, let’s take a look at what 2015 brought. The diverse lineup included System of a Down, Modest Mouse, Pixies, Iggy Pop, Snoop Dogg, Tenacious D, Motorhead, Faith No More, Rancid, Testament, the Damned, GWAR, Swervedriver and so many more.
Sept. 9-10 in Atlanta, Ga.
Major Acts: Fates Warning, Devin Townsend Project, Green Carnation
ProgPower USA has become the haven for bringing some rare traditional and power metal acts stateside. The 2016 edition of the fest will feature Fates Warning playing Awaken the Guardian in its entirety with the recording lineup including singer Jon Arch. Green Carnation have reunited and will be performing their masterpiece song/album, Light of Day, Day of Darkness. Also appearing will be Devin Townsend Project, Scar Symmetry, Freedom Call, Gloryhammer and more.