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The Biggest Metal Festivals Of 2023 (So Far)

16 December 2022 | 11:17 am | Mary Varvaris
Originally Appeared In

The biggest and best rock and metal bands are playing at massive festivals next year.

These two festivals share a bunch of incredible metal bands, so we ask, which of these is the biggest festival of 2023?

First, we have Welcome To Rockville, situated in Daytona, Florida.

It's a four-day festival occurring in May 2023. The headliners are Slipknot, Avenged Sevenfold with their first performance since 2018, Pantera, and Tool. Watch Pantera's first performance in 20 years here. Elsewhere on the line-up are Evanescence, Queens Of The Stone Age, Converge, Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Evening, Alter Bridge, I Prevail, Sepultura, Deftones, Incubus, and many more. It's an excellent line-up catering to lovers of classic rock, stoner rock, heavy metal, thrash metal, and people who fall in between.

Then, we have Hellfest in Clisson, France, in June 2023.

Hellfest is also a four-day festival and will also be headlined by Slipknot, as well as KISS, Motley Crue, and Iron Maiden. Pantera, Incubus, Alter Bridge, I Prevail, and a few more appear on both line-ups, but then the famous French metal festival explodes. Parkway Drive, Architects, Sum 41. Porcupine Tree, Tenacious D, Within Temptation, Electric Callboy, Arch Enemy, The Ghost Inside, Black Flag, The Cult, Testament, Behemoth, and stacks more will be flying to Clisson. 

Like every year, Hellfest is a strong showing of all facets of metal, punk, alternative, and rock music. Its diversity in musical genre and gender tops Welcome To Rockville for us. 

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The metal touring circuit in 2023 looks very exciting. Melbourne melodic death metal band Be'lakor have been added to next year's Wacken Open Air, Dark River Festival in their first-ever trip to Finland, and Summer Breeze (DE), Party San (DE), Brutal Assault (CZ), and Vagos (PT). 

Wacken 2023 features Anthrax with their 40th-anniversary show, Killswitch Engage, British heavy metal band Employed To Serve, German punks Kärbholz and folk rock band Schandmaul with their 25th-anniversary performance, Icelandic folk metal band Skálmöld, Canadian Celtic punk group The Real McKenzies, British metallers HERIOT, and international heavy metal outfit Warkings.

Be'lakor and friends join a stacked line-up headlined by Iron Maiden, followed by The Dropkick Murphys, Megadeth, Wardruna, Knotfest Australia favourites Trivium, Good Things Festival icons Jinjer, Abbath, Ensiferum, and many more.