Best Rock Festivals From Around the World: Top 10

While many top-rated festivals & concerts appeal to their audiences by bringing renowned rock bands to the stage, there are also quite a few that cater almost exclusively to hard rock and metal fans. Basically, any memorable rock festival should look like this: great open air locations, lots of beer, a noisy crowd, solid camping options, good music, and, of course, great headliners!

Now let’s take a look at some of the world’s festivals that respect these crucial conditions; you might have missed the 2013 edition of most of them, but there are still quite a few lined up in the following months (and if not, you’ll know how to plan your 2014 vacation): And if you plan to attend any of the following concert, then plan ahead and book your concert tickets now as down the line as the event date comes closer the ticket prices hike up, so this is a bit of advice which I would like to give you before proceeding with the music festivals.



10. Austin City Limits Music Festival – initially held every year in September, the Austin City Limits fest has now switched to an October date, but has kept its location on the 46-acre Zilker Park (also known as the crown jewel of Austin’s public green spaces). To be held on two separate weekends—with the first (4 – 6 October) being already sold out—ACL will feature performances from Depeche Mode, The Cure, Muse, Kings of Leon, Arctic Monkeys, Phoenix, Franz Ferdinand and many more.

9. Rock am Ring & Rock im Park, Nürburgring & Nuremberg, Germany – There were so many people coming to the Rock am Ring that the organizers decided to split it up in two; they set up another location, with mostly the same headliners playing on different days of the festival. This year, the event held on June 7-9 was sold out as early as January. And it it’s easy to see why, as the list of performers included names like Green Day, The Prodigy, The Killers, Papa Roach, Korn, Limp Bizkit, and Bush. Stay tuned for next year, as the organizers are already announcing 2014 performers!

8. Isle of Wight, Newport, UK – while not a rock festival by tradition, from year to year, Isle of Wight seems to focus more on its rock-loving fans. This year’s edition, held June 13-June 16, featured Bon Jovi, The Killers, and The Stone Roses.


7. Coachella, Indio, California – the two-weekend music and arts festival held in April borrowed its stage to bands like Blur, The Stone Roses, Phoenix and Red Hot Chili Peppers, confirming rumors that sprang as early as December 2012. Initially a three-day festival, Coachella was also split up in two due to the ever-increasing number of participants.

6. Crue Fest – initially just a summer tour started by Motley Crue in 2008, the show reached instant international fame for being “the loudest show on Earth”; with $40 million earnings in the first round, why not make a second edition? With other rock names (like Papa Roach or Godsmack) eager to play along, the Crue Fest returned in 2009, but unfortunately it’s no longer in the books.

5. Mayhem Festival – touring the U.S. with some of the loudest performers in the industry, the Mayhem Festival is all about hard rock and metal music. Sponsored by Rockstar Energy drink, the Mayhem is considerably younger than other festivals of its kind (the first edition was held in 2008); nevertheless, its popularity grows year by year, possibly also due to the special ‘meet the fans’ sessions organized with the performers. This year’s edition will feature four stages (as opposed to three) and will run June 29 through August 4, featuring headliners like Rob Zombie, Five Finger Death Punch, Mastodon, Machine Head, and Children of Bodom.


4. Roskilde, Roskilde, Denmark – with a history of more than four decades, the Roskilde Festival has gradually grown to become one of the biggest music fests in Europe; now a four-day festival, the event saw performances of artists like Bob Marley, U2, Metallica or Radiohead, but the profits are by default donated to charity. For 2013, Kraftwerk, Queen of the Stone Age, Metallica, Sigur Ros and Slipknot were the designated headliners. Missed it, but the countdown for next year’s Roskilde fest has already begun on its website. Stay tuned!

3. Ozzfest – knows as America’s premier hard rock and metal festival, Ozzfest had gradually transformed itself from a ‘grounded’ event to an on-the-road show. But as running man Ozzy Osbourne gets older, the festival might also be slowing down, skipping some editions or organizing just a one-day event. However, 2013 hosted the first ever Ozzyfest Japan on May 11 -12, the first major international music festival to ever travel to the country. The event, a partnership between Sharon Osbourne and Japanese promoter Hayashi International Promotion, featured bands like Black Sabbath, Slipknot, Tool, Deftones, Slash and Stone Sour. Other bands on the bill included Maximum the Hormone, Dir En Grey, MAN WITH A MISSION, Momoiro Clover Z, Steel Panther, Ningen Isu, Galneryus, Namba69, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, MUCC, The Treatment, Anthem, Crossfaith, Knock out Monkey, and fade.


2. Rock Werchter, Werchter, Belgium – attended by over 110,000 people, the festival sprung up as part of a neighborhood youth movement in Werchter, Belgium in 1975. Five-time winner of the best festival in the world designation awarded at the International Live Music Conference, Werchter shifted from a two-location festival to its current site. As of 2002, the festival is home to TW Classic—a tribute to the early days of Werchter—which consists of a one-day, one-stage show that pays tribute to veterans like The Police, Depeche Mode, or Phil Collins. This year’s list of headliners was quite impressive: Blur, Depeche Mode, Phoenix, Rammstein, Green Day, and Kings of Leon.


1.  Glastonbury Festival – while not a rock festival per say, Glastonbury has managed to achieve the status of the world’s favorite festival (despite the muddy experience many participants had to go through). And with names like The Rolling Stones on the posters, Glastonbury fully deserves its title. Taking place in south west England, six miles east of Glastonbury, the festival has been held every year since 1970, gathering music fans from all over the world. Now the largest greenfield festival in the world, the festival took place on June 26 –June 30, and lucky attendees saw live performances from the likes of Arctic Monkeys, The Rolling Stones, Mumford & Sons, The Vaccines, and The Smashing Pumpkins. If still in doubt whether you’d have fun at the Glastonbury Festival, take a quick look at some of this year’s photos.