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Articles : Metal Obsession Metal Festivals: 2014

By on May 21, 2014

It’s time for another sojourn, a hiatus from the minutiae of work, life and local metal, and to journey across the seven seas (via the magic of aeromoplanes) to the land of kings, queens, castles, and mountains in mainland Europe and to the land of freedom (said with sarcasm of course) in America but mostly, to the lands of GLOBAL METALHEADS.

This year Anwar Rizk and I (Gary Carson) will embark on epic adventures to some of Europe and America’s biggest metal festivals.

Here’s a preview of this year’s festivals that we will be reviewing in the coming months.

  • Masters of Rock (Czech Republic)
  • Metal Days (Slovenia)
  • Wacken (Germany)
  • Summer Breeze (Germany)
  • ProgPowerUSA (umm, USA)
  • Bangalore Open Air (India)

Masters Of Rock


Masters of Rock

Where Is It? Vizovice, Czech Republic. 313km  south-east of the Czech capital Prague.

When: Thursday 10th of July til Sunday 13th of July (4 days)

Festival Website:

How Much Is it? Around 54 Euros (~$80 AUD)

Festival Size? Around 20,000

Number of Stages: Two (One large stage, one tiny stage)

Cost Of Beer, Food, and Accommodation? Everything is cheap.

Headliners: Dream Theater, Helloween, Sabaton, Sebastian Bach, and Anthrax

Others: Airbourne, Unisonic, Arch Enemy, Behemoth, Stryper, Krokus, Eluveitie, Korpiklaani, Epica, Axxis, Freedom Call, Visions of Atlantis, Grand Magus, Civil War, Gloryhammer, Serenity, Sebastien (different from Mr. Bach), and Kreyson! And still there’s a bunch more.

Full line-up?

Gary’s Brief: This is my third time at Masters of Rock and whilst I’m still alive and whilst I can still afford to travel, this is the top festival for me. The four days are intense but it’s easy to chill out with some downtime as there’s only the one major stage and the second stage with small local bands. Eat and drink your heart out.

Vegan/Vegetarian Friendly? Vegetarian friendly, some foods are vegan.

Metal Days


Metal Days

Where Is It? Tolmin, Slovenia. 102 hilly kilometres West of Slovenia’s capital, Ljubljana.

When: Sunday 20th of July til Saturday 26th of July (6 days)

Festival Website:

How Much Is it? Around 150 Euros (~$220 AUD)

Festival Size? Around 12,000

Number of Stages: Two (One humongous stage, one small, although not tiny, stage)

Cost Of Beer, Food, and Accommodation? At the festival, prices are the equivalent of the major German festivals. Accommodation though, if not camping, is cheap. Not quite as cheap as the Czech Republic but definitely on the cheap end.

Headliners: Volbeat, Megadeth, Children of Bodom, Opeth, Sabaton

Others: Amorphis, Borknagar, Riot, Moonsorrow, My Dying Bride, Obituary, Possessed, Satyricon, Suffocation, Tiamat. And, yes, there’s more. More than you can possibly imagine.

Full line-up?

Gary’s Brief: This is my second time at Metal Days and I treat this festival as a combination of introducing myself – live at least – to many bands I don’t tend to listen to on CD (and we’re talking the more brutal end of the metal spectrum) but also a serene place to relax and chillout (this is the the most relaxing location for a metal festival you will ever see). The five days of this festival are typically brutal weather wise but there’s lots of trees. This festival comes alive at night where the people exit their tents and empty their beers and dive into the awesome mosh pits. The length of the festival is long but the ability to chill out more than makes up for it.

Vegan/Vegetarian Friendly? Vegan friendly.


Wacken Open Air

Where Is It? Wacken, Germany. 76km north west of Hamburg.

When: Thursday 31st of July til Saturday 2nd of August (3 days)

Festival Website:

How Much Is it? Around 140 Euros (~$210 AUD)

Festival Size? Around 80,000

Number of Stages: I think there’s 7! 2 MASSIVE, 1 large, 2 medium, and multiple tiny stages.

Cost Of Beer, Food, and Accommodation? Standard German festival prices (read that as you will).

Headliners: Avantasia, Apocalyptica w/Orchestra, Emperor (reunion), Slayer, Motorhead, Megadeth, Amon Amath.

Others: Arch Enemy, Behemoth, Kreator, Iced Earth, Sodom, Van Canto, Devin Townsend Project, Neopera, Children Of Bodom, King Diamond, Hell, W.A.S.P, and a stack more.

Full line-up?

Gary’s Brief: This is my 6th trip to Wacken with my first in 1999. Yes, it’s the premiere metal festival, yes, it’s the largest metal festival in Europe, yes, there’s lots of people, yes, it’s extremely well organised, and yes, it’s definitely worth doing. There’s just something about this festival. And make sure you have lots of cash – there’s SO much merch, CDs, food, etc to buy from here. It’s incredible.

Anwar’s Brief: This is my 4th trip to Wacken. I first attendED back in 2010 to see Grave Digger perform ‘Tunes of War’ in its entirety. The festival is ran exceptionally well with the strongest and hardest working festival team I have ever seen. The all round vibe of the festival is friendly and open. Like the slogan says “You never drink alone at Wacken!”. Amazing people, superb bands and exceptional prices on food, alcohol and band merchandise that literally shits over the inflated prices Australians pay for decent metal music and beer.

Vegan/Vegetarian Friendly? Vegan friendly.

Summer Breeze


Summer Breeze

Where Is It? Dinkelsbühl, Bavaria. 167km north west of Munich.

When: Thursday 14th of August til Friday 16th of August (3 days)

Festival Wesbite:

How Much Is It? Around 99 Euros (~$150 AUD)

Festival Size: Around 40,000

Number Of Stages: 5 Stages in total. 2 large, 2 medium and 1 small stage.

Cost Of Beer, Food, and Accommodation? You’ll be paying roughly the standard fee for beer and food. Accommodation is fair, but I would strongly suggest camping to cut down on costs to spend on more alcohol, which is a great way to make new friends and mingle with the locals.

Headliners: Children of Bodom, Wintersun, Gamma Ray, Carcass, Behemoth, Devin Townsend Project.

Others: Equilibrium, Down, Arch Enemy, Primal Fear, Blue Pills, Skeletonwitch and many more!

Full line-up:

Anwar’s Brief: I first attended Summer Breeze back in 2010. I was fortunate to see Melbourne metal heroes Be’lakor perform at Summer Breeze. This will be my 4th time back to Summer Breeze. The festival is situated roughly 2 hours drive from Munich via the autobahn in a picturesque part of Bavaria. Rolling hills with amazing sights all around, including a medieval castle in the town of Dinkelsbühl. The added bonus of a locally brewed beer, especially made for the festival is the icing on the cake.

Vegan/Vegetarian Friendly? Vegan friendly.


ProgPower USA


ProgPower USA XV

Where Is It? Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Capital city of Georgia which is in the south-east of the USA.

When: Wednesday 10th of September till Saturday 13th of September (4 days)

Festival Website:

How Much Is it? Around 150 USD (~$170 AUD) for two days, add about $80 USD ($100 AUD for the Wednesday and Thursday night pre-parties)

Festival Size? 1,500

Number of Stages: No idea, although I think there’s only one. 🙂

Cost Of Beer, Food, and Accommodation? No idea, this is my first time here.

Headliners: Stratovarius, Jon Oliva’s Pain, Seventh Wonder, Pain of Salvation.

Others: Overkill, Masterplan, Leprous, Alex Beyrodt’s Voodoo Circle, Orden Ogan, Divided Multitude, Need, Withem, Pagan’s Mind, Theocracy, DGM, Vangough, Draekon.

Full line-up?

Brief: Boutique prog/power metal festival. I attended ProgPower Europe in 2007 and if there’s anything to go by this will be filled to the brim with prog nerds ready to nerd it up to the max. For me, this is the PERFECT line-up for this style of metal. Every single band at this, the 15th iteration of the festival, I want, desperately, to see. Plus the boutique festival allows the following:

  • Seventh Wonder playing all of Mercy Falls
  • Pagan’s Mind playing all of Celestial Entrance
  • Pain of Salvation playing all of Remedy Lane

  • Jon Oliva’s Pain playing all of Streets: A Rock Opera

Vegan/Vegetarian Friendly? Unknown.


                                      Bangalore Open Air:


Where is it? Bangalore

When? Saturday, 13th, September

Festival Website:

How much is it? Rs. 2500

Festival size? Not sure.

Number of stages? One stage!

Cost of food, Beer, Accommodation: Not entirely sure, but for the day,  I think everything should cost around Rs 1000-2000 including transport to and from the venue.

Headliners: Rotting Christ, Destruction

Others: Cadaver Mutilator, The Down Troddence, Threinody, Armament, Girish & the Chronicles

Prat’s Brief: B.O.A’s known for bringing down some legendary bands to our exotic country and putting on a mad show! Bangalore is located in Karnataka which is easy to get to from almost anywhere by train. The venue this year is accessible by car, bus etc. Shouldn’t be hard to find! Having hosted bands like Dark Tranquility, Ihsahn, Iced Earth, Kreator, metalheads in India have been grateful for the amazing line ups at B.O.A. This year, Greek metal lords Rotting Christ will be stirring up the madness alongside German thrash metal pioneers Destruction! The atmosphere will be crazy and this is definitely one festival you do not want to miss!


Vegan/Vegetarian friendly – There will probably be a few options for vegetarians in and around the venue! Mainly things you can snack on.



Since 1999, Gary Carson has co-hosted Australia's longest running prog/power metal radio show on Screaming Symphony. Gary has a Bachelor's degree in Psychology/Sociology and enjoys horrifically violent games, horrifically violent books, and horrifically violent movies. And gay power metal. Check out Screaming Symphony every Thursday night from 10pm (Melbourne time) on PBS.FM