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The Biggest Metal Concerts Ever

The Biggest Metal Concerts Ever

It’s no secret that metal concerts are renowned for being some of the most intense and energetic events in the music world. With their powerful, loud, and aggressive music, combined with the unwavering passion of their fans, metal bands have managed to captivate audiences and sell out arenas and stadiums across the globe.

Throughout this document, we will uncover the stories behind some of the biggest metal concerts ever held, shedding light on the epic performances and the cultural impact they have had. From legendary bands that have shaped the genre to rising stars that are pushing boundaries, we will explore the diverse range of metal concerts that have left a lasting impression on fans worldwide.

So, get ready to dive into the electrifying world of metal concerts, where the energy is palpable, the music is exhilarating, and the passion is contagious. Join us as we embark on a journey through the history, the spectacle, and the sheer power of these unforgettable musical experiences.

AC/DC’s “Rock or Bust” Tour

In 2015, the iconic Australian rock band AC/DC embarked on their “Rock or Bust” tour, which would go on to become the fourth highest-grossing concert tour of all time. The tour marked the band’s first performances without founding member Malcolm Young and saw the return of vocalist Brian Johnson after a brief hiatus. The “Rock or Bust” tour saw the band perform in front of millions of fans across Europe, North America, and Oceania, with sold-out shows at major stadiums and festivals.

But what made this tour truly historic was its sheer scale and production value. The stage design included a massive locomotive train that emerged from a giant screen during their performance of “Rock N Roll Train” and a 40-foot-tall inflatable Rosie the Riveter, paying homage to their iconic “Whole Lotta Rosie” track. The band also incorporated a huge video wall and pyrotechnic effects, creating a visual spectacle that perfectly complemented their electrifying performance.

But beyond the impressive production value, it was AC/DC’s timeless music and their energetic stage presence that truly made this tour a standout. From the opening chords of “Rock or Bust” to the iconic riffs of “Highway to Hell,” every song was met with an explosion of energy from the crowd, creating an electric atmosphere that fans will never forget.[4]

AC/DC’s “Rock or Bust” Tour

Motley Crue’s Final Tour

One of the most iconic metal bands in history, Motley Crue, announced their final tour in 2014, marking the end of an era for both the band and their fans. The aptly named “All Bad Things Must Come to An End” tour kicked off in July 2014 and concluded on December 31st, 2015, with a historic New Year’s Eve show in Los Angeles.

The final tour featured all the classic elements that fans had come to expect from Motley Crue concerts – outrageous stage antics, pyrotechnics, and of course, their iconic hits. But what made this tour truly special was the band’s commitment to go out with a bang. They promised to deliver the biggest, most over-the-top performances of their career, and they did not disappoint.

The tour sold out arenas worldwide, with fans flocking to see their favorite band one last time. It was a bittersweet moment for both the band and their fans, as they bid farewell to an era that had left a significant mark on the metal scene.[4]

Metallica’s “WorldWired” Tour

When it comes to metal concerts, few bands can match the magnitude and longevity of Metallica. With a career spanning over four decades, the American heavy metal band has become one of the most successful and influential acts in music history. So, it’s no surprise that their “WorldWired” tour became an instant hit when it kicked off in 2016.

The tour, which lasted for three years, took the band to over 50 cities across North America, Europe, and Asia. It featured a jaw-dropping stage setup that included pyrotechnics, lasers, and an enormous LED screen that displayed captivating visuals. And of course, there was Metallica’s iconic music – from classic hits like “Enter Sandman” and “Master of Puppets” to songs from their latest album, “Hardwired… to Self-Destruct.”

But what made this tour truly remarkable was the band’s unwavering dedication to their fans. Metallica has always been known for its close relationship with its fanbase, and this tour was no exception. From inviting die-hard fans on stage to delivering electrifying performances, Metallica proved once again why they are hailed as one of the best live acts in the world.[4]


Slayer’s Final Tour

When the news broke in 2018 that Slayer, one of the legendary “Big Four” bands of thrash metal known for their raw power and intense performances, would be embarking on their final tour, fans all over the world were left in shock and disbelief. With a career spanning almost four decades, Slayer had become synonymous with the very essence of thrash metal, pushing boundaries and creating groundbreaking music that would forever shape the genre.

“The Final Campaign,” as the tour was appropriately named, commenced in November 2019, marking the beginning of the end for this iconic band. Over the course of the tour, Slayer would embark on a whirlwind journey, hitting over 40 cities across North America, Europe, and Asia, leaving a trail of unforgettable performances and lifelong memories in their wake.

Every night, the stage would come alive with the blistering energy and raw intensity that only Slayer could deliver. The band would unleash a setlist packed with their classic hits, igniting a maelstrom of headbanging and mosh pits that would reverberate through the crowd. And to further enhance the spectacle, pyrotechnic displays would light up the stage, casting an infernal glow upon the band as they bid farewell to their devoted fans.

But Slayer’s final tour was not just about their own legacy; it was also a celebration of the entire metal community. As a testament to their influence and stature, Slayer invited some of the biggest names in metal to join them as support acts. Bands like Lamb of God, known for their ferocious energy and technical prowess, Amon Amarth, who brought their Viking-inspired melodic death metal to the stage, and Cannibal Corpse, masters of brutal and uncompromising death metal, all shared the spotlight, creating an unforgettable experience for metal fans worldwide.

The significance of Slayer’s final tour cannot be overstated. It marked the end of an era, a bittersweet farewell to a band that had shaped the very fabric of metal music. As the final notes faded away and the stage lights dimmed, Slayer’s legacy was forever etched in the annals of metal history, solidifying their status as one of the most influential bands to ever grace the genre. The impact they had on countless musicians and fans alike will continue to resonate for generations to come.[2]

Slayer’s Final Tour

Iron Maiden’s “The Book of Souls” Tour (2016-2017)

Iron Maiden, the iconic British metal band, embarked on their most ambitious tour yet in 2016 with “The Book of Souls” tour. Spanning over 39 countries and lasting for 16 months, this epic event was a celebration of the band’s sixteenth album release.

The tour featured an astonishing stage setup that left fans in awe. It included a giant Mayan-themed Eddie, the band’s beloved mascot, towering over the stage. As if that wasn’t impressive enough, a replica of the legendary British Spitfire plane soared above the crowd during the performance of their classic hit “Aces High.” The combination of the massive Eddie and the Spitfire created an unforgettable visual spectacle that perfectly complemented the band’s electrifying performances.

But it wasn’t just the stage setup that made this tour special. Iron Maiden carefully crafted a setlist that catered to both die-hard fans and newcomers alike. They played a perfect blend of fan-favorite songs that have become anthems of the metal genre, as well as lesser-known tracks from their extensive discography. This ensured that everyone in the audience got to experience the thrill of hearing their personal favorites live.

The “The Book of Souls” tour was a resounding success, with over 1.5 million tickets sold and a gross revenue of $117 million. These staggering numbers solidified Iron Maiden’s status as one of the biggest and most influential metal bands in the world. Their dedicated fan base, spanning generations, is a testament to the band’s enduring appeal and the timeless power of their music.

So, whether you witnessed this monumental tour firsthand or you’re discovering Iron Maiden’s music for the first time, “The Book of Souls” tour will forever be etched in the annals of metal history as a legendary chapter in the band’s remarkable journey.[2]

Slipknot’s “Knotfest” – The Ultimate Metal Festival

One of the most iconic and highly influential metal bands of the 21st century, Slipknot has undoubtedly left an indelible mark on the heavy metal music landscape since their explosive debut in 1999. With their unique blend of aggressive sound, haunting lyrics, and intense stage presence, Slipknot has consistently pushed boundaries and redefined the genre.

Their live performances are nothing short of spectacular, transporting fans into a dark and immersive world. Adorned in their signature elaborate masks, Slipknot’s visually striking appearance adds an element of mystery and intrigue to their shows. The band members’ unmatched energy and raw passion on stage create an electrifying atmosphere that resonates with audiences worldwide.

In 2012, to further cement their status as metal pioneers, Slipknot launched their very own music festival, aptly named “Knotfest”. This eagerly anticipated annual event serves as a mecca for metalheads, bringing together a powerhouse lineup of some of the biggest names in the genre. From the thunderous riffs of the main stage to the intimate performances on smaller stages, Knotfest offers an immersive experience that celebrates the diversity and intensity of metal music.

Slipknot’s “Knotfest”

But Knotfest is more than just a music festival. It’s a vibrant carnival of metal culture, featuring thrilling rides that provide adrenaline-fueled excitement alongside the sonic onslaught. Moreover, the festival boasts an on-site museum, offering fans a chance to delve into the band’s rich history through a captivating display of memorabilia, artifacts, and personal insights.

With its unparalleled ambiance, breathtaking performances, and an unwavering commitment to metal, Knotfest has undeniably become the ultimate destination for metal enthusiasts from all walks of life. It solidifies Slipknot’s rightful place as one of the biggest and most influential bands in the genre, leaving an everlasting impact on both their devoted fanbase and the music industry as a whole.[1]

Black Sabbath’s “The End” Tour

When it comes to metal concerts, there’s no doubt that Black Sabbath’s “The End” tour is one of the biggest and most iconic events in the genre’s history. After forming in 1968, Black Sabbath quickly rose to fame with their heavy riffs and haunting lyrics, becoming pioneers of the metal scene.

In 2016, after almost five decades of changing the landscape of music, Black Sabbath announced their final world tour. The band’s farewell tour, appropriately titled “The End,” saw original members Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, and Geezer Butler coming together for one last time to bid farewell to their devoted fans.

The tour took place over two years and spanned across North America, Europe, South America, and Oceania. It included 81 shows in total, with the final concert taking place in their hometown of Birmingham, England on February 4th, 2017.

The “The End” tour was a monumental moment for metal fans as it marked the end of an era and celebrated the band’s impact on the genre. Fans from all over the world flocked to see Black Sabbath perform their classic hits like “Paranoid” and “Iron Man,” creating an electric atmosphere that will never be forgotten.

This tour solidified Black Sabbath’s legacy as one of the biggest and most influential bands in metal history, and their final performance will forever hold a special place in the hearts of fans.[1]

Black Sabbath’s “The End” Tour

Wacken Open Air

When we talk about the biggest metal concerts, one event that cannot be overlooked is Wacken Open Air. This renowned festival takes place annually in a charming small village in Germany, creating a unique and immersive experience for metal enthusiasts from all over the world.

Since its inception in 1990, Wacken has come a long way from its humble beginnings. Initially, it started as a local event with just six bands on the lineup. However, the festival’s exceptional atmosphere and mind-blowing performances quickly caught the attention of metal fans far and wide. With each passing year, the festival’s popularity grew exponentially, leading to a remarkable increase in attendance.

In 2018, Wacken witnessed a staggering gathering of over 75,000 passionate fans, united by their shared love for metal music. This massive turnout is a testament to the festival’s global appeal and its ability to create an unforgettable experience for attendees.

What sets Wacken Open Air apart is not only its impressive numbers but also its dedication to showcasing a diverse range of metal acts. From established bands to rising stars, Wacken provides a platform for both well-known names and emerging talents to captivate the audience. This allows fans to not only enjoy the performances of their favorite artists but also discover new and exciting music that expands their metal horizons.

Furthermore, Wacken is renowned for its spectacular stage productions. The festival pulls out all the stops, incorporating mesmerizing pyrotechnics, breathtaking special effects, and elaborate light shows into its performances. These visually stunning elements add an extra layer of excitement and elevate the overall experience, making Wacken Open Air an unforgettable spectacle.[3]

Wacken Open Air

Download Festival

Hailing from the United Kingdom, Download Festival has become a beloved and iconic event in the metal concert scene since its inception in 2003. Known for its electric atmosphere and high-energy performances, this festival has captured the hearts of metal fans around the world.

Each year, Download Festival curates diverse lineups that cater to all subgenres of metal, ensuring that there is something for everyone. From the blistering riffs of thrash metal to the haunting melodies of gothic metal, attendees can expect a dynamic and unforgettable experience.

In 2014, Download Festival made history by featuring all three headlining acts as women-led bands – Avenged Sevenfold, Linkin Park, and Aerosmith. This groundbreaking move challenged the male-dominated nature of metal concerts and celebrated the growing presence of women in the genre. It was a powerful moment that showcased the immense talent and strength of female artists in the industry.

With its iconic logo, which has become synonymous with heavy music, Download Festival has expanded its reach beyond the United Kingdom. It has ventured into other countries such as Australia, France, and Spain, spreading its influence and solidifying its position as a global powerhouse in the metal concert scene. Fans from all corners of the world eagerly anticipate the opportunity to witness the magic and camaraderie that this festival brings.

Year after year, Download Festival continues to push boundaries and redefine what a metal concert can be. It is a celebration of the genre’s rich history, its present-day vitality, and its exciting future. Whether you’re a dedicated metalhead or simply curious about the genre, attending Download Festival is an experience that will leave you with lasting memories and a newfound appreciation for the power of heavy music.[3]


No discussion about the biggest metal concerts would be complete without mentioning Ozzfest. This iconic festival, founded in 1996 by legendary musician Ozzy Osbourne and his wife Sharon, has become a staple event for metal fans worldwide.

Known for its star-studded lineups and larger-than-life performances, Ozzfest has hosted some of the most influential bands in the history of metal. From Black Sabbath to Iron Maiden, Slipknot to Judas Priest, the festival has featured a who’s who of heavy music throughout its 25-year run.

But Ozzfest is more than just a platform for established acts. It has also played an essential role in discovering and promoting emerging artists, helping them gain exposure and build a dedicated fanbase. Bands like System of a Down, Korn, and Disturbed all credit Ozzfest for their breakthrough into the mainstream metal scene.

What sets Ozzfest apart is its sense of community and camaraderie among attendees. With its carnival-like atmosphere and interactive games and activities, the festival creates an immersive experience that goes beyond just watching performances. It’s a celebration of metal culture and a gathering of like-minded individuals who come together to revel in their shared passion for heavy music.

In recent years, Ozzfest has expanded its reach by hosting events in other countries such as Japan and Spain, cementing its status as an international phenomenon. It’s an iconic festival that continues to unite generations of metal fans, proving that the spirit of heavy music is truly timeless.[3]


What is the largest metal festival in the world?

The largest metal festival in the world is Wacken Open Air, held annually in the small village of Wacken, Germany. Known for its iconic stage set in the midst of picturesque countryside, this renowned event attracts metal enthusiasts from far and wide. With a massive capacity of over 75,000 attendees, the festival offers an unforgettable experience with its diverse and electrifying lineup of metal acts representing various subgenres from all corners of the globe. From epic headliners to emerging talents, Wacken Open Air celebrates the vibrant and unifying spirit of heavy metal music in a truly awe-inspiring setting.

How many people attended Metallica Moscow 1991?

The Metallica concert in Moscow, Russia in 1991 is widely regarded as one of the most legendary and iconic moments in the history of metal music. It took place at Tushino Airfield and drew an astonishing crowd of over 1.6 million passionate metal fans from all around the world. The sheer magnitude of this event solidified Metallica’s status as one of the biggest and most influential bands in the genre, leaving a lasting impact on the global metal community. The energy and excitement that reverberated throughout the airfield that day created an unforgettable experience for both the band and the fans alike.

How many people were at Metallica 1992?

It is estimated that over 300,000 enthusiastic fans gathered in Moscow, Russia in 1992 to witness the incredible performance of Metallica during their monumental ‘Wherever We May Roam’ tour. This extraordinary concert not only captivated the hearts of thousands, but it also goes down in history as one of the most iconic and unforgettable moments in the band’s illustrious career. The sheer magnitude of this event solidified Metallica’s status as one of the biggest and most influential rock bands of all time.

Who was bigger: Metallica or Guns N Roses?

It is difficult to determine which band was “bigger” as both Metallica and Guns N Roses have had immense success and a dedicated fan base. However, in terms of concert attendance, Metallica’s 1991 and 1992 Moscow concerts hold the record for the largest single-act outdoor concerts ever. On the other hand, Guns N Roses holds the record for the highest-attended concert tours ever, with their ‘Not in This Lifetime…’ tour. Ultimately, it can be said that both bands have made significant contributions to the heavy metal genre and continue to have a lasting impact on fans around the world.

When was Metallica the biggest?

Metallica’s popularity has remained steady throughout their career, with millions of dedicated fans worldwide. However, they experienced a significant surge in popularity in the early 1990s when they released their self-titled album, commonly known as “The Black Album.” This album propelled them to international success and solidified their position as one of the biggest metal bands in the world. Since then, they have continued to release critically acclaimed albums and sell out stadiums and arenas on their tours. Today, they remain one of the most influential and beloved metal bands in history.

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Metal concerts have come a long way since the early days of heavy metal. From small underground shows to massive international festivals, these events have become an essential part of metal culture and play a significant role in shaping the genre’s identity.

With iconic festivals like Download Festival and Ozzfest leading the charge, metal concerts continue to grow in popularity and attract fans from all walks of life. They provide an opportunity for fans to connect with their favorite bands, discover new music, and celebrate the unifying power of heavy music.

So whether you’re a die-hard metalhead or simply curious about the genre, attending one of these epic concerts is an experience that should not be missed. With larger-than-life performances, unforgettable moments, and a sense of community unlike any other, metal concerts truly are the biggest and best in the music world. So, get ready to raise your horns and join in on the celebration of all things heavy! Happy moshing!

  1. https://www.headbang.co.za/2023/03/the-biggest-metal-concerts-of-all-time/
  2. https://metalinjection.net/news/the-biggest-and-best-rock-concerts-of-all-time-revealed
  3. https://metalplanetmusic.com/2023/04/monsters-of-rock-the-biggest-heavy-metal-festivals-in-history/
  4. https://loudwire.com/rock-metal-concerts-youtube/