Summer is traditionally a time for sun-soaked festivals, sweaty club nights and evenings in the garden listening to classic rock with a beer in one hand and an air guitar in the other.

At least it is three out of every four years.

But what on earth is a rock fan who loves his football supposed to do when the World Cup takes centre stage for six weeks?

The fact that the tournament’s opening weekend clashed with Download was the first true test facing fans of rock and goals.

Those who picked Rage Against The Machine ahead of railing against England were very wise judges. But if you stuck with Stone Temple Pilots and Aerosmith 24 hours later you missed four German goals and an Aussie humiliation – was it coincidence that Airbourne’s set lasted the entire first half of their home country’s shambolic opener?

This weekend the pressure’s on again. Had England topped their group they would have gone head to head with Stevie Wonder at Hard Rock Calling – hardly a contest with the footy winning every time.

But of course Fabio Capello’s men were never going to make your average rock fan’s life that easy. And by finishing runners-up in Group C they not only go head to head with old foes Germany but clash with Elvis Costello and Crowded House on Sunday afternoon. Talk about a nightmare for lovers of fine music and a sporting rivalry steeped in tradition.

At the other end of the scale there’s Tigertailz on tour. As proud Welshmen they probably care little about a sporting event where true minnows are rarely welcome. But to schedule their return to Newcastle next week on the same night that the 2010 World Cup stages its second quarter-final is plain crazy.

Throw in England’s one day cricket series with Australia and the drama that is Wimbledon and these are tough times for anyone seeking to stay abreast of the big sporting stories and stay true to their passion for rock. And we do exist. Honest.

But the dream scenario does exist. In the summer of 2004 Portugal hosted football’s European Championships and kicked off in Lisbon with their version of Rock In Rio. One night you were watching Lenny Kravitz and The Pixies and the next Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney. There was no clash – just a perfectly complimentary festival of top class sport and world class music.

Sadly it was the exception, rather than the rule. And for the next two weeks those of us who love our hot licks as much as our free kicks face a familiarly painful juggling act. But we’re not giving in just yet…