Spring Metal Festivals Roundup: Part 2
Don’t be stupid, be a smarty. Come and join the metal party!
Last week we ran down some of the fests you should attend this season. Here is Round 2. Bring sunscreen, drink plenty of water, and have a meeting place in case you get separated from your friends/significant others/parents
April 24 – 26
Sadly, this isn’t Dessert Fest. Personally, I would love to see Orange Goblin play a set in between self-serve ice cream machines and a topping bar. Oh, people will definitely have snacks with them at this show, but you probably shouldn’t eat them. Bring a small pocket fan so you can see through the haze of smoke and dude-stench. I’ll be the one in the Straight Edge shirt and gas mask asking people politely if they could exhale in a different direction.
Bands: Sleep, Red Fang, Eyehategod, Orange Goblin, Minsk, Cancer, SSS, The Atomic Bitchwax, Black Cobra and more.
June 3 – 6
Where can you see Toto and Dark Tranquillity on the same bill? How about Meshuggah and Pat Travers Band? Sweden Rock Festival of course! As far as mixed lineups go, Sweden Rock may take the metal cake. This is probably a good fest for dad rockers to bond with their metalhead kids. You’ll really connect on a whole new level when you both agree to skip Five Finger Death Punch to see Exodus.
Bands: Def Leppard, Motley Crue, Judas Priest, Opeth, Ghost, Hammerfall, Dokken, Ace Frehley, Extreme, and more.
Out & Loud Festival
June 4 – 6th
Say it loud! I’m out and…wait, that’s not right. Wrong gathering. I’m thinking of Out/Loud Festival, the queer women’s festival. ToH is supportive either way. Germany loves their metal. Though it’s not as big as Wacken, Out & Loud certainly packs a metal punch. Break out the denim, leather, and Kasespatzle for this one!
Bands: Helloween, Testament, Arch Enemy, Carcass, Wintersun, Eluveitie, Alestorm, Insomnium, Unleashed, Tankard and more.
Rock AM Ring
June 5 – 7
Rock AM Ring is closer to “truth in advertising” then some other festivals in that it’s mostly rock-based with a smattering of metal. Want to go? Well tough strudel, pal. This thing is sold out. Or as they say in Deutchland “Rock am Ring ist ausverkauft.” Maybe you can ask Dave Grohl aka “the coolest guy in the world” if he has any spare tickets. Or you can ask King 810. Just tell them you like whatever song they play. I dunno. Worth a shot, right?
Bands: Foo Fighters, Slipknot, The Prodigy, Motorhead, Rise Against, Marilyn Manson, Interpol, Bad Religion and more.
Castle Donington, UK
June 12 – 14
Download is one of the big annual rock fests in the UK. The stages are big and you may end up a mile away from the headliners. If you’re only interested in 1 or 2 bands, it may be worth just waiting until they come around on a headlining tour. It’s weird to see a band like Muse on the same bill as a band like Madball. Maybe there will be a mixup and we’ll see the NYHC veterans on the main stage.
Bands: Slipknot, Muse, KISS, Faith No More, Marilyn Manson, Clutch, L7, Andrew WK, Lamb of God, Dragonforce and more.
June 18 – 20
Nummijärvi, Kauhajoki, Finland
I’m sure it’s pronounced something along the lines of “noo-me rock” I’m just going to go ahead and pronounce it “Nummy Rock”. It sounds delicious. Just imagine the stage is made of peppermint, the speakers are solid chocolate, and the lights are just giant lollipops. Of course, maybe someone else is making a yummy sound.
Bands: Testament, Arch Enemy, Heaven Shall Burn, Dark Funeral, Moonsorrow, Insomnium, Mors Principium Est, Korpiklaani, and more.
Tons of Rock
June 18 – 20
Not grams of rock. Not pounds of rock. Not gallons of rock. Tons of Rock. This festival is a good example of how extreme metal bands can play next to rock and hair metal bands. These bands may not have the popularity they once did in the States, but there is still major love for them in Europe. Twisted Sister is one of the headliners and I am happy that they are still (as of this writing) planning to play all of their dates following the untimely death of their drummer. I hope they and their fans have a great time.
Bands: Twisted Sister, In Flames, Opeth, Venom, Gojira, Kreator, Testament, Ihsahn, Alcest, Fleshgod Apocalypse and more.
June 19 -20
We all know how a chunk of the Polish population feels about extreme metal. Hopefully the folks at Dark Fest keep the rotting goat heads and sheep blood to a minimum. Being an Open Fest will probably help keep the stench of rotting animal flesh low. Not a lot of big names on this one, but that just means you can find plenty of new bands. Don’t forget to bring a flash light!
Bands: Vader, Hate, Pandemonium, Furia, Voidhanger and more.
Graspop Metal Meeting
June 19 – 21
Gird your waffles, boys! It’s off to Belgium we go for the delightfully-sounding Graspop Metal Meeting. All metal shows should be referred to as “meeting”. We can all get together, have some baked goods and punch and discuss the soci-economic ramifications of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal as compared to the first wave of American thrash metal bands. Yeah, that meeting would last about 5 minutes before someone gets smashed with a chair. Good thing the music will be loud at Graspop.
Bands: KISS, Slipknot, Scorpions, Korn, Judas Priest, Faith No More, Motorhead, Alice Cooper, Lamb of God, Body Count, Life Of Agony, Cradle of Filth, My Dying Bride and tons more.
June 19 – 21
No, this isn’t a return from the American metal and hardcore fest that had the bright idea to include Bad Luck 13 Riot Extravaganza. This is the massive French Hellfest with more awesome bands than you can shake a broken drumstick at. Every stage is awesome. Every day is awesome. Thinking of going? Tough baguettes, pal. This thing is sold out!
Bands: Judas Priest, Scorpions, ZZ Top, Limp Bizkit, Alice Cooper, Motorhead, Cannibal Corpse, Nightwish, Venom, Shining, Mastodon, Dead Kennedys and more.
Tuska Open Air Festival
June 26 – 28
Suvilahti, Helsinki, Finland
Who’s a Tuska? What’s a Tuska? Is this guy a Tuska? Apparently, it’s Finnish for “pain” or “agony”. This lineup is pretty good, so no pain or agony over here. Maybe 3 days of standing and rocking out will bring forth the tuska. What’s the Finnish equivalent of Icy-Hot?
Bands: Sabaton, Alice Cooper, Amorphis, Loudness, In Flames, Opeth, Stratovarius, The Sword, Bloodbath, Ne Obliviscaris and more.
Now don’t your worry your pretty little head off. We’ll get to the summer fests soon.
Feel free to list the many other spring fests I’ve missed in the comments section below.