Tired of the same old pop-driven festival lineups? Looking for something a bit, ahem, harder? Check out our list of the top five best rock music festivals taking place across the country this year.

Planning on buying a ticket? Shop SeatGeek and use code TBA20BLOG at checkout to save $20 off your purchase!

Welcome to Rockville

When: May 8-10
Where: Jacksonville, FL
Welcome to Rockville has been bringing a mix of classic rock and modern metal to Jacksonville’s Metropolitan Park since 2011. This year’s performers included Tool, Shinedown, Incubus, Judas Priest and Korn, plus outliers like Yung Blood, the Crystal Method and Flogging Molly. Look out for next year’s event which will take place at the Daytona International Speedway for the first time ever. Shop tickets here.

Chicago Open Air

When: May 18-19
Where: Bridgeview, IL
This Chicago-area fest took a break for a few years, but they returned in a big way. The big city location helps to draw in acts that you might not find at smaller fests: Tool, System of a Down and Ghost, to name a few. In 2018, the venue was renamed to our very own SeatGeek Stadium, so needless to say we’re a bit biased. Shop tickets here.

Louder than Life

When: September 27-29
Where: Louisville, KY
Louisville’s best rock fest celebrates heavy music while also spotlighting Kentucky’s best known export: bourbon. Fans of acts like Guns N’ Roses and Staind can camp out for three days at this immersive music festival, which also includes performances from Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson and Slipknot. Probably for the best to ditch those car keys, anyway. Shop tickets here.

Riot Fest

When: September 13-15
Where: Chicago, IL
Riot Fest will occasionally bring in hip-hop acts that have a lot of clout among alt-rock fans, but this punk-oriented festival made its name by putting on three days of deep lineups for fans of all stripes of rock music. This year you can catch performances from Blink 182, Slayer, the Flaming Lips, the Raconteurs and many more. Shop tickets here.


When: May 10-12
Rockingham, North Carolina
Epicenter is a modern rock radio playlist brought to life. The newly minted festival is a three-day mix of grunge and metal, with a few classic rockers thrown in for variety. Korn, Tool and Foo Fighters served as headliners for the first edition of the event. Shop tickets here.

Exit 111

When: October 11-13
Where: Manchester, TN
Located on the same ground as Bonnaroo, this impressive new offering aims to distance itself from competitors with a lineup that’s heavy on the old guard. Lynyrd Skynyrd, ZZ Top, Def Leppard, Guns N Roses and Slayer will help christen the fest in October. Shop tickets here.


When: October 11-13
Sacramento, CA
This Sacramento festival is in October because Tripp pants can get hot. Expect a ton of turn-of-the-century, crunching guitars at this Monster-energy sponsored fall fest. This year’s impressive lineup includes Slipknot, Blink-182 and Tool. Shop tickets here.

(Music image created by Bedneyimages – Freepik.com)