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Top Metal Festivals of 2013

When the lineup for Rock on the Range was announced last week, a flurry of emails between myself and three other of my fellow chick metal journalists/enthusiasts ensued regarding flights, hotels, and tickets. We had all attended the weekend festival together in 2012, and relished the thought of a heavy metal + band interviews + whisky + late night dance party (I just really hope those videos never see daylight) weekend Part II.

But ROTR isn't the only hard rock and metal festival going down in 2013. Sure, indie/EDM/hip-hop fans have Coachella to be excited about, but Goldenvoice didn't book much in the way of heavy metal this year. No, leave that to awesome promoters/festival organizers around the world. Here's some of the awesome shit I found.

See also:

-Lifers Phil Anselmo and Bruce Corbitt Rep the Metal Underground -The 17 Most Anticipated Metal Albums of 2013 -Top Five 2012 Heavy Releases In Phoenix -The Year in Heavy Metal: 2012

One intriguing rumor has been suggested by Suffocation bassist Derek Boyer stating in a recent interview that Deicide, Morbid Angel, Cannibal Corpse, and Obituary are considering a "Brutal Big 5" tour. How badass would that be?

But that's in the wind -- here's my picks for festivals that are confirmed, locked, and loaded.

Rock On The Range When: May 17-29 Where: Columbus, Ohio

ROTR is scheduled to feature Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Korn, Lamb of God, Skillet, All That Remains, Device with David Draiman, Sevendust, Sick Puppies, In This Moment, Clutch, Stone Sour, Deuce, Redline Chemistry, Gemini Syndrome, and a ton more.

7000 Tons of Metal When: Jan 28-Feb 1 Where: Leaving from Miami, Florida, and headed to the Turks and Caicos Islands.

With the motto "Four days, 40 bands, one cruise ship, only 2000 tickets," how could you go wrong? Performances from Lacuna Coil, Flotsam and Jetsam, 30 Inches of Blood, In Flames, and many more accompany open mic nights, clinics, metal karaoke, and bars that never close.

Hellfest When: June 21-23 Where: Clisson, France

France doesn't immediately come off as a heavy metal destination, at least not for me. The times I've visited there and asked about heavy metal clubs, I've been directed to more than a few underground techno spots. But with a name like Hellfest and a lineup that includes Anti Flag, At The Gates, Bad Religion, Between The Buried And Me, Bullet for my Valentine, Coal Chamber, Clutch, KISS, Korn, Neurosis, Twisted Sister, Volbeat, ZZ Top, The Sword, Skindred, Testament, Cryptopsy, Cradle of Filth, and Danko Jones....we can be on good terms with the French any day.

Orion Music Festival When: June 8-9 Where: Detroit Michigan

The lineup for 2013 has yet to be announced, but in 2012 the stage hosted Metallica (of course), Arctic Monkeys, Avenged Sevenfold, Fucked Up, Volbeat, A Place to Bury Strangers, Liturgy, The Black Angels, The Gaslight Anthem, the Valley's own Landmine Marathon, and more. We're hoping to see that same level of diversity again this year.

Wacken Open Air When: August 1-3 Where: Wacken, Germany

Wacken, Germany, is no stranger to heavy metal legends. It's one of those places that you can find a heavy metal band playing in dive bars on just about every other street corner. This year, Wacken Open Air becomes the home for such bands as Anthrax, Arch Enemy, As I Lay Dying, Deep Purple, Feart Factory, Grave Digger, Legion of the Damned, Soilwork, Trivium, Ugly Kid Joe, and about 30 other acts for a couple days.

Bloodstock Open Air When: August 8-11 Where: Catton Park, Derbyshire, UK

I've always wanted to go to Bloodstock. Any heavy metal fan should, if not for the name alone. BLOODSTOCK? Hell yes! You can always count on the UK for rocking music festivals year-round. Expect a line up including Accept, Anthrax, Devildriver, Dark Funeral, Fozzy, King Diamond, Lamb of God, Municipal Waste, and more.

Sonisphere Festival When: June and May Where: Four dates: Madrid, Spain; Barcelona, Spain; Milan, Italy; and Amneville, France.

This lineup is killer. Iron Maiden alongside Slayer? Korn sharing the stage with Motorhead? It also inclues Airbourne, Amon Amarth, Children of Bodom, Dragon Force, Epica, Sabaton, and more.

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Barge to Hell When: 2013 Dates not yet announced, but in 2012 it took place December 3-6 Where: Not yet announced, but in 2012 the cruise left from Miami, Florida ,and went to Nassau, Bahamas.

This website is awesome enough just to visit: the word "Barge to Hell" dripping in blood and sharp edges, and an illustration of a ship sailing through bloody waters looking like some sort of gothic battleship bound for the land of headbanging. The lineup last year included At The Gates, Behemoth, Enslaved, Exodus, Head Crusher, Corrosion of Conformity, Moon Spell, Paradise Lost, Sepultura, Sacred Reich, Soilwork, Havoc, and dozens of others. All aboard, black shirts, obscene beardage and smelly bodies.


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