Rock and Heavy Metal music fans, get ready for an epic year ahead! The USA is home to some of the biggest and most exciting music festivals in the world, featuring some of the most iconic rock and metal bands around. From coast to coast, there’s an abundance of festivals to choose from, each with its unique character and lineup.
To help you plan your year in music, we’ve put together a list of the 15 best rock and heavy metal festivals happening in the USA in 2023. Whether you’re into classic rock, heavy metal, or alternative sounds, there’s something for everyone on this list.
So, grab your tickets, pack your bags, and get ready for an unforgettable year of rock and metal!
1. Welcome to Rockville 2023
When: May 18-21, 2023
Where: Daytona Beach, Florida
Get ready to rock as Daytona Beach, Florida, hosts the highly anticipated annual music festival, Welcome to Rockville! With a jam-packed lineup of over 45 rock and metal bands across four stages, this event is part of the World’s Loudest Month and draws over 50,000 fans each year for a monster weekend of non-stop music.
This year’s festival features two unique sets by Metallica and electrifying performances by Nine Inch Nails, Disturbed, Rob Zombie, Deftones, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Lamb of God, Social Distortion, The Offspring, Staind, Mudvayne, Cypress Hill, and many more! So, join the celebration of the return of live music and immerse yourself in the ultimate rock festival experience at Welcome to Rockville!
2. Aftershock Festival 2023
When: October 5-8, 2023
Where: Discovery Park, Sacramento, California
Prepare to rock out for four epic days as the West Coast’s largest rock and metal festival Aftershock returns to Northern California’s Discovery Park! This year’s festival promises to be bigger and better than ever, featuring a star-studded line-up that will make it a highlight of your year.
Get ready to immerse yourself in an unforgettable festival experience as you enjoy some of the biggest names in rock and heavy metal. With four days of non-stop music, Aftershock is the ultimate destination for music lovers looking for an unparalleled festival experience.
3. Louder Than Life Festival 2023
When: September 21-24, 2023
Where: Highland Festival Grounds, Louisville, Kentucky
Experience one of North America’s most iconic metal festivals as Louder Than Life returns for another unforgettable year! With a world-class production, stacked lineup, incredible camping options, and amazing food vendors, Louder Than Life is a must-attend event for any rock or heavy metal fan. This festival was awarded “Festival of the Year” in 2022.
The team behind the festival knows what they’re doing, creating an unparalleled epic festival experience. Whether you’re a seasoned festival-goer or a first-timer, Louder Than Life offers everything you need for a truly unforgettable weekend.
4. Full Terror Assault Metal Festival
When: October 6-9, 2023
Where: Cave-In-Rock, Illinois
Experience a metal festival like no other as Full Terror Assault returns to southern Illinois for another epic year! Last year, this festival made waves in the metal community by becoming the first true open-air metal festival in the US. With multiple days, multiple stages, camping options, and plenty of opportunities for partying Full Terror Assault offer a unique festival experience set in an isolated pocket of wilderness.
Plus, with its proximity to major metropolitan areas like St. Louis, Nashville, Louisville, Memphis, Cincinnati, and Lexington, this festival is easily accessible to anyone looking for a weekend of metal and fun. Don’t miss out on this unforgettable festival experience – get your tickets now and join the party at Full Terror Assault!
5. Rocklahoma Festival
When: September 1-3, 2023 (Labor Day Weekend)
Where: Pryor, Oklahoma
This Labor Day weekend is going to be fun as Rocklahoma returns with a lineup that is sure to please any metal fan!
This 3-day festival is one of America’s biggest music festivals. It is a must-attend event for anyone looking for a weekend of top-notch camping, beautiful scenery, and world-class music.
6. Maryland Deathfest
When: May 23-26, 2024 (Taking 2023 Off)
Where: Baltimore, Maryland
America’s premier annual metal party – Maryland Deathfest! This multi-day event in Baltimore features dozens of bands worldwide and is the biggest of its kind in North America. Started by two extreme metal fans named Ryan and Evan, Maryland Deathfest has become a must-attend event for metal fans from all over the globe.
For 16 years, MDF has featured over 500 bands from over 30 countries, with many making their US debut at the festival.
7. Rock Fest
When: July 13-15, 2023
Where: Cadott, Wisconsin
Rock Fest in Cadott, WI is the ultimate destination for rock fans around the world. As one of the top venues for active and classic rock, this 26-year-old festival has hosted some of the biggest names in rock music, including Aerosmith, Iron Maiden, Kiss, Motley Crue, Fleetwood Mac, and many others.
With 320 acres of picturesque land in Central Wisconsin, the festival boasts nearly 7,000 campsites within walking distance of the concert grounds, making it a truly unique and unforgettable experience.
8. Psycho Unlimited
When: August 2023
Where: Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, Nevada
Experience the ultimate rock and metal event of the summer in Las Vegas! Join metal fans from around the world at Psycho Las Vegas for four days of unforgettable music featuring an amazing line-up and a top-notch venue.
With its growing popularity among metal enthusiasts, Psycho Las Vegas promised to deliver an epic experience in 2022. Don’t miss out on this incredible event – start planning your trip and secure your tickets now!
9. ProgPower USA
When: September 6-9, 2023
Where: Atlanta, Georgia
Immerse yourself in the world of progressive and power metal at ProgPower USA, the top festival for fans of these genres in the United States. ProgPower USA has been bringing together the most prominent names in international progressive and power metal to the Center Stage Theater in Atlanta, Georgia, for nearly two decades.
Renowned for its exceptional production values, welcoming atmosphere, and an unmatched lineup of top-tier acts, this festival has become a must-attend event for metal fans every June or September.
10. 70000 Tons of Metal Cruise Festival
When: January 30 – February 3, 2023
Where: Miami – Bahamas
The ultimate heavy metal adventure aboard 70000TONS OF METAL, the original and world’s biggest heavy metal cruise, took place in full swing! A 4-day journey across international waters with 60 bands, unlimited festival access to 120 live shows, and unforgettable activities like 70000 TONS OF KARAOKE, a Belly Flop Contest, Clinics and Workshops with the musicians, and Shore Excursions with your favourite artists.
11. Rock USA
When: June 2023 (Dates TBA)
Where: Oshkosh, Wisconsin
Rock USA is an unforgettable rock music and camping festival that draws in music lovers from all over the country. Set on the picturesque Ford Festival Park, this 3-day event offers a unique culinary experience, non-stop rock music, and camping under the stars.
Rock USA has expanded to 60 acres of concert grounds on a vast 300-acre festival park. With a whopping 2.2-million-dollar talent budget, the festival offers a massive lineup of renowned rock artists. Past performers include Van Halen, Slipknot, Avenged Sevenfold, Kiss, Journey, Def Leppard, Disturbed, Ozzy Osbourne, and many more.
12. Sonic Temple
When: May 25-28, 2023
Where: Historic Crew Stadium, Columbus, Ohio
The Sonic Temple Art + Music Festival has replaced the highly regarded Rock on The Range, a popular and sold-out rock festival, with a successful 12-year run. With its comeback slated for 2023, attendees can anticipate a four-day celebration of heavy metal music, an impressive display of products, and an overall extraordinary event.
When: July – September
Where: Various cities across the United States
SLIPKNOT is returning live with their upcoming Knotfest Roadshow, a massive headline tour across North America this summer. The 29-city tour will kick off on July 26th at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California, and will conclude on September 8th at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in Woodlands, Texas.
The band will be joined by special guests Volbeat, Gojira, and Behemoth, promising an epic trek for heavy metal and hard rock music fans.
14. Migration Fest
When: October (Dates TBA)
Where: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
The upcoming Migration Fest spans over 3 days and showcases almost 30 bands. The majority of the lineup is sourced from the 20 Buck Spin and Gilead Media label rosters, while a select few special guests have been carefully chosen to perform.
15. Furnace Fest
When: September 23-24, 2023
Where: Birmingham, Alabama
Experience a unique revival at the haunted Sloss Furnace in Birmingham! The year 2021 promises a spectacular weekend of music featuring an impressive lineup of renowned artists, including Underoath, Taking Back Sunday, and Killswitch Engage.
With so many incredible rock and heavy metal festivals in the USA in 2023, there’s no shortage of opportunities to see some of your favourite bands and discover new ones. From the East Coast to the West Coast, these festivals offer a range of experiences, from multi-day camping events to one-day celebrations of all things rock and metal.
Whether you’re a die-hard fan or simply looking for a fun and exciting way to spend a weekend, there will surely be a festival on this list that will satisfy your thirst for music and adventure.