The Best Punk, Rock and Metal Festivals

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.

Skiddle Staff

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...

 


 

Download Festival

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When: Friday 10th - Sunday 12th June 

Where: Donington Park, Derby

Lineup: KissIron Maiden, Biffy Clyro

The spiritual home of British rock and heavy metal, Download Festival is the UK's premier live music event for metalheads, punks and rockers alike.

Succeeding the legendary Monsters of Rock Festival back in 2003, the annual gathering welcomes performances from some of the biggest names in the game. Amongst the many acts to smash up the stages at Download include Slipknot, Megadeth, Babymetal, Linkin Park, Tool, AC/DC, Rage Against The Machine, Slayer, Avenged Sevenfold, Blink 182, OpethBlack Sabbath, Halestorm, and many, many more. 

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. 

 

Find tickets for Download Festival 2022 - here 

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Roadburn Festival

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Image credit: Roadburn Festival (Facebook)

When: Thursday 21st - Sunday 24th April

Where: 013 Poppodium in Tilburg, Netherlands

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? 

 

Find tickets for Roadburn Festival 2022 - here

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ArcTanGent Festival

When: 17th - 20th August

Where: Fernhill Farm, Bristol

Lineup: OpethCult of Luna, Mono, Tesseract

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. 

 

Find tickets for Arctangent Festival 2022 - here 

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Radar Festival

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When: Friday 29th - Sunday 31st July

Where: Casino, Guildford

Lineup: Dirty Loops, Hakan, Plini, Intervals

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.

 

Find tickets for Radar Festival 2022 - here 

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Rock am Ring & Rock im Park

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Image credit: Rock AM Ring

When: Friday 3rd - Sunday 5th June 

Where: Rock am Ring - Nürburgring, Nürburg, Germany / Rock im Park - Zeppelinfeld, Nuremberg, Germany

Lineup: Green Day, Volbeat, Muse

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 

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Slamdunk Festival North and South

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When: North - Friday 3rd June / South - Saturday 4th June

Where: North - Temple Newsam Park, Leeds / South - Hatfield Park, Hatfield

Lineup: Neck Deep, Alexisonfite, The Dropkick Murphys, Sum 41

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

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Bloodstock Open Air

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When: Thursday 11th - Sunday 14th August 

Where: Catton Park, Walton Upon Trent

Lineup: Lamb of God, Behemoth, Mercyful Fate 

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.

Head to Bloodstock Open Air this year, raise your horns to the sky and open up the pit to the likes of Exodus, The Black Dalia Murder, Lamb of God, Butcher Babies and Bury Tomorrow.

 

Find tickets for Bloodstock Open Air 2022 - here 

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Rock In Rio Lisboa

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Image credit: Rock In Rio / Facebook 

When: 18th, 19th, 25th & 26th June

Where: Parque Da Bela Vista, Lisbon

Lineup: Foo Fighters, The National, Duran Duran, Black Eyed Peas, Post Malone, A-ha

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.  

 

Find tickets for Rock In Lisboa 2022 - here 

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Hellfest 

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When: 17th - 26 June  

Where: Clisson, France 

Lineup: Metallica, Guns N’ Roses, Deftones, Scorpions, Nine Inch Nails, Avenged Sevenfold

Monster metal mecca Hellfest is back with a seriously hard lineup that’ll leave heavy music fans drooling. The headliners alone are fantastic but further down the bill is looking equally impressive. Judas Priest, The Dropkick Murphys, Spiritbox, Megadeth, Korn, Whitesnake, Alice Cooper, Of Mice & Men, Bring Me The Horizon, Opeth, Suicide Silence, and The Distillers are all set to play at some point over the 7-day festival.

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...

 


 

Nova Rock Festival

When: Thursday 9th - Sunday 12th June 

Where: Nickelsdorf, Austria

Lineup: Muse, Foo Fighters, Volbeat, Five Finger Death Punch 

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 Muse and 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. 

Alongside these rock veterans include bands such as Rise Against, Bullet For My Valentine, Evanescence, The Pretty Reckless, Skillet, Bring Me The Horizon, Code Orange, and Korn. It’s safe to say that Nova Rock provides a diverse selection of music for festival-goers to enjoy over its four-day event. 

Nova Rock 2022, as with every other year, is destined to be amazing. 

 


 

Reading and Leeds Festival

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When: Friday 26th - Sunday 28th August 

Where: Leeds - Bramham Park, Wetherby / Reading - Richfield Avenue Festival Site, Reading

Lineup: Rage Against The Machine, Bring Me The Horizon, Arctic Monkeys, Megan Thee Stallion, Dave, Halsey

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.

Frequently flaunting lineups that are tough to beat, both events have previously welcomed some of the most influential and culturally significant artists in modern music throughout their previous years. Some artists to have blessed the stage include Nirvana, Green Day, The Cranberries, Foo Fighters, Paramore, The Strokes, Wolf Alice, Metallica, Pearl Jam, Skunk Anansie, Oasis, Ramones, Iron Maiden, and so, so many more. 

While the festival is a giant melting pot of genres including grime, hip hop, EDM, pop, indie, and everything in between, metal, rock, and punk fans will easily find acts they can get down to. 

 

Find tickets for Reading Festival 2022 - here / Leeds Festival 2022 - here

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Wacken Open Air

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When: Thursday 4th – Saturday 6th August

Where: Wacken, Germany

Lineup: Amon Amarth, Slipknot, Judas Priest, Till Lindemann

Wacken Open Air became one of Europe’s biggest heavy metal festivals after earning the adoration of metalheads worldwide with its stellar lineups, passionate crowds and immaculate sound. 

If you needed more proof to back up how amazing this festival is, in 2018, it won the Best Major Festival Award at the European Awards and Best Festival at the Helga!

Wacken tries to ensure the bands they book cover as many styles of hard rock and metal as possible. Past lineups have included some impressive names such as As I Lay Dying, Within Temptation, Slayer, Parkway Drive, Anthrax, Opeth, Nightwish, Behemoth, Alice Cooper, and many more. And this year will be no different. 

 


 

Resurrection Fest

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When: Wednesday 29th June - Sunday 3rd July

Where: Viveiro, Spain

Lineup: Deftones, Judas Priest, Sabaton, Avenged Sevenfold, Korn

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.

 

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Header Image: Abbie Shipperley

 

 

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