Summer is on its way, friends, and that means music festival season will kick into full gear. And believe you me, if we had it our way, we would spend the entirety of the warm months of the year bouncing around Europe and beyond to hit up as many heavy rock festivals as possible. Alas, we have to be a bit more selective than that.

We’re still figuring out which festivals we are going to be covering this summer, but for you fellow metalheads, we wanted to give you a quick heads up as to the four big festivals happening in the Nordic nations. Hopefully it will inspire you to take your first trip one of these beautiful countries and bang your head to some of the best rock bands on the planet. We were also kind enough to put together some Spotify playlists for each event, highlighting the Nordic bands running the festival gauntlet this year.

SWEDEN ROCK (June 8 – 11)

This one is a biggie and features some pretty substantial names, including Queen (featuring Adam Lambert), Twisted Sister, Slayer, Megadeth, and Hawkwind. And those are just the folks from the U.S. and U.K. that are playing. The rest of the lineup is packed with Swedish and Scandinavian greatness. Landing high up on the bill are power rockers Sabaton, the return of sleazy punks The Hellacopters, and the glass-shattering voice of King Diamond. Be sure to check the undercards for this fest because you might otherwise miss out on some great sets by the likes of Tribulation, Slough Feb, and King Albatross.

COPENHELL (June 23-25)

As you hopefully figured out from its name, this weekend event goes down every year in Copenhagen, Denmark. And they’ve earned a mighty enough reputation for their booking acumen that they were able to coax legends such as Black Sabbath (appearing as part of their long farewell tour), Alice Cooper, and Scorpions into their web. For this metal fan, I’m ready to dig for the lesser known gems like the fist-pumping groove metal of Helhorse, the rap-rock hybrid Clawfinger, and the slow ooze of Redwood Hill.

TONS OF ROCK (June 23-25)

Your metal dilemma this summer will hopefully be: do I go to Denmark for Copenhell or hit up Norway for this year’s Tons Of Rock? The good news is that the two events share some of the same names on their respective lineups (Black Sabbath, Megadeth, Alice Cooper, and Ghost among them). So, it really comes down to the smaller font artists that pad out the weekends. It’s a tough call, too, as TOR boasts a pretty mean gaggle of up-and-comers like the psych groovers Blues Pills, the appropriately named Les Punx, and the steady QOTSA-like drive of the Hedvig Mollestad Trio. You’re gonna end up a winner no matter which fest you choose, but hopefully our Spotify playlists will help you make the decision a little quicker.

TUSKA OPEN-AIR (July 1 – 3)

We love the 4th of July as much as anyone, but as you get older, it starts to get a little staid: the same ol’ fireworks displays, cookouts, and rah-rah patriotism year after year. Why not break out of the routine and take a trip to Finland instead where you can bathe in the glory of the best rock music of today? This event features one of the few festival appearances by Danish metal superstar Myrkur, sets by Norwegian screamers Kvelertak, death metal titans Children of Bodom, the costumed glory of Lordi, and the very, very, very dark band Tsjuder. If this description and this playlist pique your interest, let us help get you to the festival. We have a travel package available that will set you up with tickets and a comfy place to stay for the holiday weekend. Click here to check it out. 

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