List of heavy metal festivals

List of heavy metal festivals
Brutal Assault 2012 main stages.jpg
General Information
Related genresHeavy metal, extreme metal, rock
LocationEurope and United States (origin)
Worldwide (current)
Related eventsMusic festival, rock festival, punk rock festival, gothic festival, electronic music festival

This is an incomplete list of heavy metal festivals. Heavy metal (or simply metal) is a genre of rock music[1] that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United States and the United Kingdom.[2] With roots in blues rock and psychedelic rock, the first heavy metal bands such as Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple attracted large audiences, and during the late 1960s and mid-1970s these band and others in their genre were featured at a number of historic rock festivals.[3] Judas Priest helped spur the genre's evolution by discarding much of its blues influence.[4][5]

After the genre fused with other related genres such as punk rock in the late 1970s, bands in the new wave of British heavy metal such as Iron Maiden and Saxon followed in a similar vein. Before the end of the decade, heavy metal fans became known as "metalheads" or "headbangers", and there were festivals worldwide, both touring and stationary, dedicated to heavy metal subgenres and heavy metal itself. During the 1980s, glam metal became a commercial force, while Underground scenes and extreme subgenres of metal such as death metal and black metal remained subcultural phenomena, though they have their own dedicated festivals as well. Since the mid-1990s, popular styles have further expanded the definition of the genre.

Historical heavy metal festivals

Selected historically notable heavy metal festivals held since the 1960s
Festival name Location Years Details
Myponga Pop Festival Australia 1971 pop festival headlined by Black Sabbath
Monsters of Rock England 1980 music festival held in Castle Donington (later it branched into other locations)
Rock in Rio Brazil 1985–present 1.5 million people attended the first event.
Dynamo Open Air Netherlands 1986–2005 biggest annual metal festival during the 1990s, with 118,000 visitors in 1995
Moscow Music Peace Festival Russia 1989 part of an era of momentous change in the Soviet Union
Wacken Open Air Germany 1990–present larger heavy metal festival
Graspop Metal Meeting Belgium 1996–present larger heavy metal festival
Exit Festival Serbia 2000–present Exit 2006 had 22 stages.
Download Festival England 2003–present heavy metal and alt-rock focus
Hellfest Summer Open Air France 2006–present larger heavy metal festival