From legendary rock mecca Download to award-winning prog event ArcTanGent, check out our list of some of the best heavy music festivals happening in 2022.
Last updated: 21st Jan 2022
Those who like their music on the heavier side are in for a treat this festival season. Both the UK and Europe are boasting some of the most celebrated and longest-standing punk, rock and metal festivals with hard to beat lineups this year.
From the British-heritage rock spectacular, Download Festival, to newcomers such as ArcTanGent, there's a colossal list of alternative events for music fans to choose from in 2022.
With many lineups featuring some of the world's most renowned rock and metal legends and exciting emerging talents, it’s going to be a brilliant year for heavy music fans. This wealth of festivals cover a range of genres, including everything from math-rock and post-rock, to tech metal, nu-metal, doom metal and crust punk (yes, crust punk), making deciding which event to attend rather tough.
So, to lend a helping hand, we've combed through all of the excellent options available this year, listing some of the best headbanging, horn throwing and mosh pit encouraging festivals set to take place this year.
Whatever you're looking for, you're certain to find it in our list of the best punk, rock and metal festivals below...
Returning to Donington this June, 2022's lineup looks set to be one of Download's biggest with over one hundred acts set to perform over three days. And with some of the biggest bands on the scene topping the bill, the headline shows will certainly be memorable.
Lineup: Blak Saagan, Trialogos, Lili Refrain, The Holy Family, Spiritual Poison, Lamp of Murmur, Koldovstvo, Faceless Entity, and many more
Tilburg's annual Roadburn Festival is one of Europe's most progressive metal events, attracting a myriad of scene-defining artists to perform to thousands of fans from all over the world each year since 1999.
Known for championing those whose music pushes the boundaries of genre and art, the boutique festival hosts live shows across multiple venues, with the city's renowned 013 music venue at the epicentre of the festival. Creating a platform to facilitate the more unique and challenging live setups and performances, the event's mission is to provide its global audience with an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime, live music experience.
After last years virtual event due to social distancing restrictions, it’s going to be brilliant to see everyone back at the festival in the flesh, moshing out to the hardest underground genre-pushing metal bands. Are you in?
An award-winning independent music festival based on a farm on the outskirts of Bristol, ArcTanGent is one of Britain's most progressive live music events, created specifically with the fans of technically challenging rock music in mind. In fact, the festival describes itself as the UK’s only fest dedicated to the very best music from the worlds of math-rock, post-rock and noise rock.
A relative newcomer on the UK's festival scene, first taking place back in 2013, the festival has already gained quite a name for itself. Back in 2018, the festival won the Best Small Festival Award at the UK Festival Awards. That same year, the fest was shortlisted for the Best Lineup Award. Not bad at all.
Regularly hosting over 70 of the best bands and artists from the worlds of math-rock, post-rock and noise rock, the festival welcomes thousands of music lovers each year, routinely selling out. Oh, and there’s a silent disco, too!
ArcTanGent has already made a name for itself, but it's clear the festival oozes potential. We can't wait to see how this years edition goes down.
One of the newest progressive rock and metal festivals to appear in the UK, Guildford's Radar Festival is set to return for its third event. Providing three days of live music from an array of some of the world's most current and contemporary bands, Radar Festival will see Dirty Loops play their first ever UK gig.
Situated at the Casino Night Club, in the centre of the southern English town, the event will see dozens of bands spanning across metal’s many sub-genres take to the stage. And get this, there are no clashes! It’s a dream come true.
This years lineup features heaps of interesting music that’ll expand your horizons and perhaps help you discover your new favourite underground metal band. And if three days of moshing wasn’t enough for you, there are after-parties to attend, too.
What was originally planned as a one-off event has now grown into one of Europe's, if not the world’s, biggest and most adored rock music festivals - Rock am Ring.
Launched back in 1984 to celebrate the re-opening of the famous Nürburgring race track, the festival has become so popular with the global rock and metal scene that its organisers created the sister event Rock im Park.
Welcoming up to 150,000 devoted music fans across both events over one weekend in June, ticket holders can expect to mosh through day and night to some of the greatest punk, metal, and rock acts the world has to offer. Those who have previously entertained the huge crowds at the historic event include Metallica, Pearl Jam, Skillet, Iron Maiden, Slipknot, Halestorm, Tool, Bring Me The Horizon, Slayer, Die Ärzte and many, many more… It’s going to be a cracker this year.
Find tickets for Rock am Ring 2022 / Rock im Park 2022 - here
Born out of The Cockpit music venue in Leeds, Slam Dunk Festival first began life as a club night back in 2001 for fans of alternative genres of music, such as punk, pop punk, rock, emo and metal.
Frequently hosting internationally renowned acts, the reputation of the club brand quickly began to grow, evolving into a record label and eventually becoming a cracking live music festival in 2006. Now a huge annual, two-part event, Slam Dunk has become one of the most sought after live music festivals for pop punks, rockers and metalheads throughout Europe and beyond.
Over 50,000 fans make the journey to either one of the festival's two homes every year to witness performances from a wide selection of established names, upcoming talents and everything in between. This year’s lineup is looking as big as ever with Neck Deep, Sum 41, The Dropkick Murphys and Alexisonfire headlining.
Find tickets for Slam Dunk 2022 North - here / Slam Dunk 2022 South - here
Bloodstock Open Air Festival has been providing its devoted following with four days of some of the darkest, heaviest and most chaotic music known to man since its unholy inception back in 2005.
Set upon the grounds of Derbyshire's Catton Park, the festival welcomes 20,000 rock and metal fans each year, presenting a mammoth lineup of over a hundred prominent international metal acts, over four impressive stages each year.
As well as being spoilt to a plethora of first-rate live musical acts, punters can also experience a variety of other activities. From fairground attractions and signing tents to late-night entertainment and, at extra cost, the Serpents Lair backstage bar, which offers boasts hundreds of the best, locally sourced craft ales.
Another colossal music festival with legendary status amongst rock fans across the world, Rock In Rio Lisboa, the sister event of Brazil's Rock in Rio, will be back for two weekends packed with music.
Alternating between two locations each year, Rock in Rio first began in the Brazilian capital of Rio De Janeiro back in 1985 before journeying over the Atlantic Ocean to the eastern coast of Portugal in 2004.
One of the “lighter” festivals on the list, Rock in Rock Lisboa creates world-class lineups inclusive of many genres. This year will see rock titans Foo Fighters, indie rock icon Liam Gallagher, hip hop and pop chart-toppers Black Eyed Peas, and legends Duran Duran take to the stage, amongst others. The full lineup has yet to be released, but if the previous years are anything to go by, we’ll see more rock and other heavy acts added.
It’s no surprise the lineup is so disturbingly good when you realise the fest is celebrating its belated 15th birthday following cancellations in both 2020 and 2021. Add to that the fact it’s one of Europe’s biggest metal fests, and it all starts to make sense.
With such a killer lineup, it’s no surprise the festival has already sold out. But that doesn’t mean you can’t snag tickets. Stay ready as you never know who'll have to sell their tickets due to unforeseen circumstances...
One of the largest rock festivals, each year Nova Rock welcomes 55,000 rock and heavy music fans through its gates to mosh out to some of the biggest names in the industry. And with headliners including Museand Foo Fighters, you can rest easy knowing this year’s event will be insane, with both acts having won and received numerous nominations for their next level live performances.
Taking place over the bank holiday weekend in August each year, the illustrious and historically significant Reading and Leeds Festivals have been attracting music fans from all over the world for almost sixty years. Yep, sixty.
Reading Festival was first introduced back in 1961 and is widely regarded as one of the oldest music festivals in the world. Its twin sister, the northern leg held in Leeds, finally arrived in 1999.
Imagine a festival where you get to see all your favourite punk and metal bands without having to worry about the weather? Sounds good, right? We’ve got the perfect festival for you…
One of the best metal and punk festivals, Resurrection Festival brings punk and metal fans together to enjoy some of the most important bands in both scenes on the same stages over five sunny days in Spain. The lineup is, of course, diverse, with this year's lineup including bands such as Bring Me The Horizon, Jinjer, Rise Against, Spiritbox, and Mastodon, just to name a few.
To make your festival experience extra special, why not try beach camping? Waking up to stunning views and the sound of the sea gently lapping up on the sand will surely soften the blow of the hangover each morning.
In the mood to start planning your summer festival adventure in 2021? Be sure to check out Skiddle's full festival guide here.
Check out our What's On Guide to discover even more rowdy raves and sweaty gigs taking place over the coming weeks and months. For festivals, lifestyle events and more, head on over to our Things To Do page or be inspired by the event selections on our Inspire Me page.