July Metal Festivals Roundup
Celebrate the birth of the United States by traveling to Europe to see some fests.
Summer is finally here and that means that sweat-drenched undies and mosquitoes are in full effect. It also means that metal festivals in full swing. While we’ve already covered the early and late Spring fests, this edition is focused pretty much entirely on July. Throw on your cut-off shorts, double-up on deodorant, and let’s hit the road.
Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival
6/26 – 8/2
Believe it or not, the Mayhem Festival is now in it’s 8th year. It feels like it was just yesterday when I wasn’t even remotely interested in going to the first edition. As the spiritual successor to Ozzfest, this year’s edition of Mayhem Fest features Slayer (again), King Diamond, Hellyeah, The Devil Wears Prada, Jungle Rot, and Code Orange. The only real reason to go to this neon-colored energy drink write-off is to see King Diamond whose touring days are few and far between.
Bands: Slayer, King Diamond, Hellyeah, Whitechapel, Jungle Rot
With Full Force
7/3 – 7/5
Guttentag, bitches. This German open air fest features a wide variety of bands that will appeal to many different types of metal fans. It’s got thrash (Kreator, Dr. Living Dead), hardcore (Agnostic Front, Sick Of It All), death metal (Obituary, Carcass), mainstream metal (Lamb of God, Fear Factory), black metal (Belphegor, 1349) and a band I don’t even want to google (Eskimo Callboy). The 3-day event takes place in a town called Lobnitz which just sounds incredibly funny. Perhaps that’s the German pronunciation of “lolbuttz”.
Bands: Arch Enemy, Kreator, Carcass, Fear Factory, Agnostic Front, Heaven Shall Burn
Obscene Extreme Festival
7/8 – 7/12
Trutnov, Czech Republic
Not to be confused with the North American fest, Obscene Extreme is set to completely ruin your shorts with it’s mixture of pus-soaked death metal, bloody thrash and shit-caked grind. This one has a good mixture of well-knowns like Obituary, Pig Destroyer, and Hirax as well as some underground acts that you might recognize from someone else’s t-shirt like Maruta, Martyrdod, and Cloud Rat. Make sure to stand a good distance away when watching Foetal Juice, Undying Lust For Cadaverous Molestation, and Squirtophobic. Can’t wait to hear their Christmas album.
Bands: Obituary, Pig Destroyer, Terrorize, Hirax, Internal Bleeding, Maruta
Masters of Rock
7/9 – 7/12
Vizovice, Czech Republic
Are you ready to rock? Well, you’re going to have to go to the Czech Republic in order to do it. Don your best Jaromir Jagr mullet and possibly your favorite Renaissance garb because Masters of Rock features a lot of power and traditional heavy metal. Enjoy the pretty vocals and soaring keyboards of bands like Nightwish, Gamma Ray, Within Temptation, and The Gentle Storm. Lift your sword and shield for the adventures of Kamelot, Hammerfall, Powerwolf, and Sonata Arctica. Go see Anvil because it’s the right thing to do. Getcha pull on for Black Label Society who might have agreed to do this festival while blacked-out on whiskey and Rumplemintz.
Bands: Nightwish, Hammerfall, Kamelot, Anvil, Krokus, Septicflesh
Bang Your Head!!!
7/16 – 7/18
It’s back to the land of beer, pretzels, and schnitzengruben, but this time, they’re throwing up the tired and slightly arthritic horns for some older metal bands. They’ve got Accept, W.A.S.P., Tate-less Queensryche, Y&T as well as plenty of thrash like Kreator, Destruction, and Death Angel. Also, Tygers of Pan Tang will be there. I know that makes exactly one person not in the band or related to the band very happy. Is that worth having three exclamation points in the name of the festival? That’s up to you whether it’s a resounding “Ja!” or a disappointed “Nein.”
Bands: Accept, Sabaton, Dream Theater, Kreator, WASP, Destruction
7/17 – 7/18
Resurrection Festival takes place in Viveiro, Spain which is not in fact in Mexico, Venezuela or Brazil. What they’re resurrecting isn’t particularly clear, but let’s just say they’re resurrecting happiness since the unemployment rate in the country is hovering near 24%. Hopefully the fest’s diverse lineup can ease some pain with Motorhead, Refused, Behemoth, Toxic Holocaust, Comeback Kid, D.R.I. and Death By Stereo. Think of it as a way to help the struggling economy. Write to you local lawmaker and tell them that metal is the rocket pack that all economies should strap to their backs. The imagery alone should at least get your foot in the door. I don’t know exactly which door that might be, but you’ll have a foot in it.
Bands: Motorhead, Korn, Refused, Behemoth, 7Seconds, Dark Funeral, D.R.I.
7/17 – 7/19
Are you ready to go Xtreme like it’s 1999 and things are spelled with X’s? This unfortunately-named French fest may not have the big name headliners that some of the other European festivals have, but there’s still plenty of good ones to shake your baguette to. Or at. I’m not sure how things work over there. What’s the proper form of baguette shaking in France? Do you put some brie on it? Maybe a little olive oil? Or do you just silently smoke a cigarette while expressing a deep sense of ennui? Ponder that while you rock out to Cannibal Corpse, M.O.D., and Strung Out.
Bands: Satanic Surfers, Black Label Society, Ensiferum, Cannibal Corpse, Behemoth, Terror, Iron Reagan
Dynamo Metal Fest
Prepare they windmills and dykes! Hmmm. That sentence could probably be interpreted a number of ways. Ah, well. Go sniff a tulip if you don’t like it. This Dutch “fest” is more like a glorified one-off show, but it traces it’s roots all the way back to 1986. It’s old enough to have a mortgage and a receding hairline! Try not to break a hip, grandpa as your headbang to Nuclear Assault, Orange Goblin, Alestorm, and Biohazard. It’s not every day you can hear about radiation, beer, and tales from the hard side?
Bands: Arch Enemy, Biohazard, Death Angel, Alestorm, Nuclear Assault, Orange Goblin
Rock Fest Barcelona
7/23 – 7/25
Santa Coloma de Gramenet, Spain
This is another one of those festivals that caters to a lot of different genres of metal fans, leading to some really interesting combinations. Helloween and Entombed AD? Sure! Nightwish and Hatebreed? You got it! Sebastian Bach and Venom? No problem! Scorpions and Brujeria? Ok, you really have to stop now. While this Spanish fest does tend towards the older and more traditional metal bands, it’s does sprinkle in a few of the heavier bands. Think of it as a good chance to bond with your kids. You can even take a nap together during Dream Theater’s set.
Bands: Judas Priest, Twisted Sister, Helloween, Brujeria, Dream Theater and more.
Gothoom Open Air
7/29 – 8/1
Sadly, this Slovakian fest does not take place inside a darkened bedroom decked out in black curtains and a velvet bedspread while Skinny Puppy blasts over a stereo. Your parents still won’t understand you if you go to this, but it’s just not the same. You’ll just have to bring your own pillow. Maybe you can whack people with it during Cattle Decapitation, Cryptopsy, and Rotten Sound? Not good enough for you? How about hour and a half sets from Agalloch and Insomnium? Don’t worry. You can listen to Siouxsie and The Banshees on the way home. Oh, wait. It’s Gothoom not Gothroom. Whoops!
Bands: Insomnium (90 min set), Aggaloch (90 min set), Cryptopsy, Cattle Decapitation, Rotten Sound, Isole and more
Did we miss any metal festivals taking place in July? Of course! Tell us all about it in the comments.