Metal Festivals of 2012

Posted by EW on 07/05/12

Incase you have the seen the sun appearing outside your window in recent weeks and the distressing through came upon you that you were yet to get sorted for a festival this summer, I present you a brief round-up of some of the biggest and the best metal festivals Europe has to offer. Of course a number of the bigger name acts pop up regularly across these line-ups but look wide and deep for there is a huge variety available. Choose not to settle on the same one each year and experience yourself new surroundings - I have trodden the fields of Wacken, With Full Force, Hellfest, Metal Camp and Bloodstock before with each providing their own unique and great memories and expect Metalfest Croatia to do similar this summer.

Let the summer of metal commence!

Metalfest Open Airs (various countries) (30th May - 10th June)

Taking place in Germany, Croatia, Poland, Austria, Switzerland, Czech Republic and Italy across the last weekend of May/first weekend in June, the strong and diverse Rock the Nation agency acts will be keeping central European metalheads busy across some beautiful and grand sites on in the early part of the summer. Headliners include Megadeth, Blind Guardian, In Extremo and Kreator. Better get booking soon for these!

Full line-up (for Croatian edition) here.

Copenhell (Denmark) (15-16th June)

I trust my colleagues here can talk of this one better than I but based on their review of last years edition it seems a pretty well-organised mid-sized festival and with a line-up this year boasting Slayer and Marilyn Manson as headliners this trend looks set to continue. The best Denmark has to offer for the certified metalhead.

Full line-up here.

MetalTown (Sweden) (15-16th June)

A very similar line-up to Copenhell with top acts including In Flames, Marilyn Manson, Slayer, Lamb of God and Mastodon is a festival for those interested in the bigger acts of the metal world all presented in a tidy 2 days for upto 8,000 metalheads near the legendary (in metal terms anyway) city of Gothenburg.

Full line-up here.

Hellfest (France) (15-17th June)

The daddy of the diverse line-ups, Hellfest boasts an astonishing range of acts from the headlining giants Ozzy & Friendz (in place of Black Sabbath due to an unwell Tony Iommi), Guns N' Roses and Megadeth to the little'uns o stages catering for the classics, extreme metal, hardcore and doom/stoner. There is something for everyone in this brilliantly run festival.

Full line-up here.

Tuska (Finland) (29th June - 1st July)

The top tier of headliners suggest Tuska has headed for more mainstream territory in recent times but Megadeth, Overkill and Napalm Death suggest the Helsinki residents will be complaining about the noise for a while in their long summer days.

Full line-up here.

Extremefest (G/A/S) (5-7th July)

No prizes for guessing which genres are catered for by Extremefest: black, death, grind and the odd bit of thrash and folk for those who reckon a festival headlined by Korn is not for them. Cannibal Corpse, Exodus, Suicide Silence and the rest will do a good job of destroying three small villages in Germany, Austria and Switzerland for a few days.

Full line-up (for German edition) here.

Wacken (Germany) (2-4th August)

Wacken Open Air has usually sold out by the time the preceding years festival has been fully dismantled such is this festival's popularity. The original, (probably) the best and (definitely) the biggest, 80,000+ metalheads will cram the tiny village of Wacken til it is bursting with spiderschwein. I did this festivals every year from 2003-2008; it has gotten bigger and more commercial since but to say I never got bored of it tell it's own story. This year headlined by Saxon (again), In Extremo and Ministry (not suprisingly reformed after oooh, what, 10 minutes split up?).

Full line-up here.

Metal Camp (Slovenia) (5-11th August)

Moved back in the calendar this year, the paradise that is Metal Camp may not boast as strong a line-up in comparison to recent years - headliners Korn and Machine Head giving it a decidely mainstream look - but the beauty of it's location cannot be argued with. A proper metal holiday for the proper metal family man.

Full line-up here.

Party San (Germany) (9-11th August)

To these eyes the line-up looks weaker than in recent years but in not utilising the same bands appearing at many of the other festivals on this list, Party San does at least stand out on it's line-up, if not on it's position right in the centre of Germany. Headliners Immortal, Bolt Thrower and Deicide still a good festival make.

Full line-up here.

Bloodstock (England) (9-12th August)

Like Party San boasting a range of acts not being seen too often elsewhere in Europe this summer helps strengthen the field at Britain's only proper summer metal festival. Headliners Behemoth, Alice Cooper and one tba (rumour says it Black Sabbath but I'm not holding my breath) gives BOA a reason for metal fans of all type to make the pilgrimage to the middle of England.

Full line-up here.

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