Summer’s just around the corner, and that means one thing: festival season. Over the last few years, more and more festivals have been popping up around the country, allowing for more of us to go and watch live music that we enjoy. Metal music in particular has really been making waves in the festival world, with a great festival calendar for 2024. If you’re trying to decide which one to go to, here’s my pick of the best metal festivals in the UK for 2024.

1. Download Festival

Download Festival | Donington Park, 14 - 16 June 2024

Download is the staple metal festival in the UK. With 2024 being its 21st year running, Download has been host to many huge bands from Metallica and Iron Maiden to Of Mice and Men and While She Sleeps. Running over three days (although you can camp for up to 5 days) Download sees over 80 bands performing every year, and saw 130,000 people attending last year! For 2024, bands we can expect to see range from Fall Out Boy and Queens of the Stone Age to BABYMETAL, Bad Omens and Those Damn Crows. Now, Download can get a little pricey, with 3-night general camping tickets going for £300 each, but the amount of people attending every year should show you how much it’s worth it. This is definitely a bucket-list festival for all metal fans in the UK.

Location: Donington Park, DE74 2RP

2. Bloodstock

Bloodstock festival metal festivals UK 2024
Source: Bloodstock Facebook

Definitely a UK festival that caters towards the heavier side of the metal music genre, Bloodstock hosts bands like Amon Amarth, Hatebreed and Satiricon, who are both a part of this year’s lineup. Smaller than Download, Bloodstock sees 18,000-20,000 attendees every year and around 60 bands performing. Smaller doesn’t always mean not as good though- Bloodstock is known as the UK’s biggest independent metal festival, and with many reviews commenting on how every performance was packed it’s clearly an amazing festival for those who want to go. Tickets to Bloodstock also run cheaper than Download tickets, with standard weekend + camping tickets costing just under £200 each. Bloodstock is a great way to test the waters of big metal festivals if you’re new to the scene, and a great way to discover new bands and friends over the space of a weekend.

Location: Catton Hall & Park, DE12 8LN

3. Slam Dunk

Slam Dunk has become the new Reading & Leeds | Mystic Sons
Source: Mystic Sons

Slam Dunk is a unique festival because it runs in two locations- Hatfield and Leeds. With a mix of metal, pop punk and other alternative music genres, Slam Dunk has something for everyone. This year’s lineup includes big bands like Waterparks, Palaye Royale, Funeral for a Friend, and The All-American Rejects, making for a perfect one-day event for everyone (Saturday’s event is in Hatfield, and Sunday’s is in Leeds). With tickets running at £120, Slam Dunk is more than affordable considering how many big bands you get to see! Slam Dunk sees up to 30,000 attendees each year, making it perfect if you’re not too sure about the busier festivals on this list.

Locations: Hatfield Park, AL9 5HX, Leeds Temple Newsam, LS15 0AE

4. Teddy Rocks Festival

If you love tribute bands then you’ll probably love Teddy Rocks. It’s a family-friendly festival and has entertainment for the whole family, but also a lot of rock and metal cover bands. Are you wishing for Foo Fighters to tour in the UK? Well look no further than Foo Forgers. Who needs Guns ‘n’ Roses when you have Guns 2 Roses? In all seriousness though, Teddy Rocks is a great festival if you’re looking for something you can take your parents or younger siblings to. With weekend camping tickets coming in at only £99, it’s great value for money too and can make an amazing weekend. With an average of only 8,000 attendees, this metal (and everything else) festival is perfect for anyone just entering the scene or wanting a quieter weekend- well, quiet for a festival, anyway. Also, Teddy Rocks raises money for Teddy20, a charity supporting children with cancer, so rest assured that your ticket money is going to a good cause.

Location: Dorset, DT11 9AL

5. Call of the Wild

Based in Lincoln, Call of the Wild is an incredibly underrated metal festival. They’re relatively new to the festival scene but are determined to establish themselves as an independent, family-friendly rock and metal festival. This year you can expect to see bands like Lost Society, Scarlet Rebels, Hush Money and plenty more. With weekend camping tickets set at £120, this is a festival that won’t break the bank like many others do.

Location: Lincolnshire Showground, LN2 2NA

This is just a small handful of the metal festivals that take place here in the UK, but they’re all great ways to get yourself into the festival scene if you’re new to it, or explore new bands and make new friends. As these festivals run every year, they can make a great yearly tradition for you and your loved ones so there’s no better time to jump in and get rocking than now! For more festival info, check out what’s coming up in the capital, as well as the most popular items everyone smuggles into festivals.