Top 10 Rock Music Festivals

artist: Misc date: 09/20/2013 category: wtf?
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Top 10 Rock Music Festivals
This week we asked Ultimate Guitar readers to vote on their favourite music festivals in the world.

With so many great events to choose from, it could have been a tough task. Now the results are in, and we have to say, it's a mighty list of excellent live music.

Did your favourite make the top 10?

10. Roskilde (Denmark)

Two students formed the first Roskilde festival, but it proved so popular that a charity took it over the following year. Now the funds go towards promoting and developing music, culture and humanism in the region - not a bad economy by any means.

Recent headliners: Metallica, Queens of the Stone Age, Slipknot

9. Hellfest (USA)

The extreme heat at the festival lends itself to the name, but it also ties in nicely with its heavy music roots. It started out as a showcase for hardcore bands, and was pumped with associated ethics like promoting straight-edge culture and even animal rights. It was cancelled in 2005, so it shouldn't technically make it to this list, but proved so popular in this poll that we threw it in anyway.

Recent headliners: The Acacia Strain, Killswitch Engage, Public Enemyx

8. Mayhem (USA/Canada)

This touring metal festival has been rocking across the US since only 2008, but it's been a massive hit. Since there's so many dates, it's normal to see a quality surprise guest headliner like Avenged Sevenfold or Dethklok.

Recent headliners: Rob Zombie, Mastodon, Amon Amarth

7. Pinkpop (Netherlands)

Pinkpop proved so successful since its inception in 1970 that in the mind-1990s it was forced to limit the number of tickets to 60,000 to prevent overcrowding. For the older music fan, a spin-off called Pinkpop Classic features artists who played at the festival in decades gone by. How's that for a way to relive your youth?

Recent headliners: The Killers, Kings of Leon, Green Day

6. Glastonbury (UK)

Britain's best loved festival turns a sleepy countryside village into a sprawling tent city. It started in the '70s as a hippy's musical retreat for around $1.50 per person, but has become a giant in the global festival scene. Its hippy roots remain, though, with a tipi village at its heart.

Recent headliners: Rolling Stones, Arctic Monkeys, Mumford & Sons

5. Reading & Leeds (UK)

Reading is the more famous half of this festival which sees three days of alternative music acts grace stages in two British towns. Reading only gets the glory because it's in the south of the country near London, so the TV and media elite attend this version - but the Leeds event, held on the same weekend, gets all the same artists.

Recent headliners: Green Day, Eminem, Biffy Clyro

4. Soundwave (Australia)

Soundwave tours the major cities of Australia with some of the biggest rock artists in the world. It started out as an offshoot of an extreme sports event in Perth, but proved so popular that it became a huge name in its own right. Today it reaches five major Australian cities.

Recent headliners: Metallica, Linkin Park, Blink-182

3. Rock am Ring/Rock im Park (Germany)

As with Reading and Leeds, this event takes place at two sites in one country, with the lineup switching dates so the artists can travel to the other site.

Recent headliners: 30 Seconds to Mars, Volbeat, Green Day

2. Wacken (Germany)

This open air heavy metal festival takes over the small village of Wacked every summer with 80,000 visitors. They have a wonderful tradition where the local fire fighters open the festival with their own house band, followed by some of the heaviest metal acts available.

Recent headliners: Motorhead, Rammstein, Trivium

1. Download (UK)

The ultimate heavy music festival. Held in Donnington park (the site where some of the biggest and greatest rock shows have ever been held), Download has international metal fans wishing they lived in Europe just so they were in range of the event. And this week, Ultimate Guitar readers have officially voted it the greatest music festival in the world today. Congratulations!

Recent headliners: Slipknot, Iron Maiden, Rammstein

Which are your personal favorite festivals? Who can share the greatest festival story? Share them in the comments below.
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