4th – 6th JULY 2014: CELEBRATING 40 YEARS OF ROCK AT KNEBWORTH
Iron Maiden and Metallica, the two biggest metal bands on the planet, will make history this summer when they co-headline the Sonisphere Festival in Knebworth, the very first time both bands have appeared together on a British bill, and the ONLY CONCERTS EITHER BAND WILL PLAY IN THE UK IN 2014. Both Metallica and Iron Maiden headlined their first ever Knebworth concerts under the Sonisphere banner and now these giants of the world stage return together to fly the Sonisphere flag once more; bigger and bolder than ever before. For the first time ever fans will have the chance to see both bands come together to head up what will surely make for one of the most historic festival bills in heavy rock music.
Vocalist Bruce Dickinson comments: “We all grew up in England well aware of the importance of the legendary concerts at Knebworth, and scarily it all seems quite recent! Without being clichéd, it really is an honor and privilege to return to play there with the purpose of celebrating some of the finest moments in British rock history from inspirational bands like Pink Floyd, The Who, Zeppelin, The Stones and Genesis. This will be the last concert of our ‘Maiden England’ Tour and it is very fitting to end a long and hugely enjoyable tour in our own back yard. We have tweaked the ‘Maiden England’ set list a bit to make it more representative of our whole 80s era and to give the fans something a bit different, especially as this will be the last of our three tours with an historical perspective. If you are there on the day it is highly likely that you will hear some of these songs played live for the very last time ever. So on an occasion like this, a celebration and the end of a chapter, you can be sure we will do our utmost to give our fans one hell of a show and go out with all guns blazing.”
Also headlining will be one of the biggest selling rock acts of all time, Metallica. Formed in 1981 by drummer Lars Ulrich and vocalist and guitarist James Hetfield, Metallica are one of the most influential and successful rock bands in history. Next summer’s performance by Metallica will see the band delivering a ‘Metallica By Request’ interactive setlist spanning their entire career. Says Lars Ulrich: “This just works on all fronts! To be invited to co-headline the 40th anniversary celebration at the legendary Knebworth House is truly a mindf*ck. Considering the iconic bands whose performances at Knebworth are part of rock and roll history, it’s not only a next level honor, but a somewhat humbling undertaking. And what could be more fitting on our third Knebworth go-around than to play an all-request set, chosen entirely by the fans? We are soooo excited about the limitless possibilities of our friends picking what songs Metallica get to perform on this forthcoming evening from the nearly 140 songs we’ve recorded throughout our ride. Who knows what crazy challenges will be thrown our way? Maybe a song that has never been performed live before? Maybe a few deep cuts that haven’t been aired in ages? Maybe a couple of your toe-tapping favorites? An obscure cover? Whatever happens, it will be unique, it will be special, and it’s all up to you.
Fans who purchase tickets online will be invited to vote on the set list Metallica will play at the show – giving them the chance to help build their dream set list from 30+ years of Metallica’s material and close to 140 recorded songs to date. Metallica’s traditional 18-song set will include the 17 top voted songs and, as the band did not want to be left out of the fun, they get to vote for the 18th slot, which will be a brand new song! Fans will be able to visit www.metallica.com to see what songs fellow fans are voting for and the results of their specific shows.
Add the cherry on top…co-headlining with Iron Maiden, who are a big reason that Metallica exists in the first place. Although we haven’t played together on the same day since 1988, this is the closest we’ve come for 25 years, and for all our fans who share the same love for Iron Maiden as we, the band members do, this will hopefully amount to what many rock fans would consider a dream bill. Making this event even more special is the fact it marks 40 years of rock concerts in the legendary grounds of Knebworth House. Sonisphere 2014 marks the return to Britain of the Sonisphere Festival which for the past five years has been the biggest pan-European festival, playing to audiences of over 1.5 Million fans. BRING IT ON!!!”
SONISPHERE welcomes DEFTONES to the superb bill for their only UK appearance of 2014. Groundbreaking and highly influential, the alternative metallers have been setting new standards in exciting rock performance since the seminal album ‘Adrenaline’ came out in 1995. With a reputation for being one of the most dazzling and uncompromising bands on the planet, DEFTONES have, throughout the years, been garnering praise, success, and too many accolades to mention, selling millions of records and winning the adoration of their peers. With classics such as ‘Back To School’, ‘My Own Summer (Shove It)’, ‘Change (In The House Of flies)’, DEFTONES are poised to set KNEBWORTH ablaze with a show to die for. Says drummer Abe Cunningham: “Greetings to ALL!!! We are absolutely stoked to be part of Sonisphere’s return and of course to have a chance to once again play a show with Iron Maiden, especially on the hallowed grounds of Knebworth. Until then…!!!!”
FRANK TURNER has a work ethic like no other, climbing his way up from the dive circuit to the arena limelight, claiming widespread praise and critical plaudits along the way. Outside of his own live shows, Frank has also broken into mainstream consciousness with the honours of performing at the Olympic Opening ceremony, and more recently, appearing on TV’s Celebrity Mastermind. With SONISPHERE headliners IRON MAIDEN as his chosen specialist subject, Frank – who boasts an Eddie tattoo – won the Mastermind challenge with his superior knowledge of the metal legends. It does not take much imagination to appreciate the delight he has on learning he will share a stage with his heroes for the first time: Says Turner: “I’m excited to be playing Sonisphere this year, and super excited to be playing the same stage as the first band I ever fell in love with – Iron Maiden; it’s definitely going to be my festival highlight for 2014.” Turner will be appearing at KNEBWORTH with his band as FRANK TURNER & THE SLEEPING SOULS, having recently completed an incendiary UK arena tour in support of fifth album ‘Tape Deck Heart’.
Hot off the success of their recent UK Tour with Less than Jake, Californian Ska-punk pioneers REEL BIG FISH come to KNEBWORTH armed with a hyper-kinetic live show, juvenile humour and ironic covers of new wave pop songs. With a fun filled attitude and massive dancefloor fillers such as ‘Sell Out’ and ‘Take On Me’, their set will undoubtedly prove once more that REEL BIG FISH is one of the most dynamic and accomplished bands of the genre, as they take to the SATURN stage for a Sunday Ska Punk Party. PROTEST THE HERO have carved an identity for themselves that is thought of as profoundly revolutionary within heavy music and 2014 has already seen them complete a hugely successful UK headline tour, including a sold out show at London’s Electric Ballroom. The band effortlessly balances high-minded artistry with wit and whimsy, substantive viewpoints with wanton tomfoolery, and masterful musicianship with true song-craft. SONISPHERE can’t wait to see them spread the magic of their spider-fingered arpeggios, walloping bottom-heavy brutality and dynamically theatrical vocals as showcased on their fourth album ‘Volition’. Says the band: “Europe knows something about doing festivals right. We are blown away every time we come over in the summer and take part in the fun. One of the highlights this summer is going to be Sonisphere! We are just finishing a UK leg of a tour and the turn outs have been great so I can only imagine what it will be like at Sonisphere.”
Avast, ye landlubbers! Fans of the sonically adventurous will be delighted to see ALESTORM joining the festivities with their very own brand of True Scottish Pirate Metal. With a treasure chest of keytar laden, pirate themed, fist pumping folk metal, these scurvy dogs will have their most epic voyage yet as they sail the sea of SONISPHERE’s SATURN stage on the Saturday for a rum fuelled set of metal fun. Since forming in 2001, Stoner/Psychedelic rock gods TRUCKFIGHTERS have released an impressive four albums, seven EP’s and a film depicting their lives named simply ‘Truckfighters’ in 2011. With Josh Homme being one of their biggest fans, TRUCKFIGHTERS released fourth album ‘Universe’ earlier this year and are an exciting addition to the festival. 2014 is full of exciting promise from Ireland’s KERBDOG. Having released two albums in the 1990’s to critical acclaim, disbanding and later reforming to sell out the London Garage on a special one off live appearance, 2014 will see the band release their first new material in seventeen years, and resurrect their electric live performance. KERBDOG say it best themselves: “We would have crawled naked across broken glass to play Sonisphere. To be invited to what is one of the greatest rock festivals on the planet as we release a new live album is a gift from the Gods. The Fans are in for an earth-shattering gig that will level buildings. End of.”
Having landed support slots to The Stranglers and appearing alongside Billy Talent at the 2013 UK VANS WARPED TOUR, hotly tipped UK outfit MAX RAPTOR, who blend punk and rock to startling effect, are also confirmed to appear at SONISPHERE, where their hard-edge and angry sounds as shown on their debut album ‘Mother’s Ruin’ will resonate through the festival. Says the band: “Just had the awesome news we’ll be playing Sonisphere 2014…. We used to go to a grubby rock club in Burton on Trent and listen to Maiden and now we’re playing the same festival as them. Absolute dream come true.” Bringing the kind of American punk rock that has drawn comparison to Black Flag for its hard hitting melodies and rhythm, ONLY CRIME will treat festival goers to a truly special show. With a line up led by Bill Stevenson (Descendants) and Russ Rankin (Good Riddance) the band looks set for a big 2014 with a new album in the pipeline and SONISPHERE is looking forward to sharing it with them. Checking in from the studio, the band said: “We know it’s been awhile since we have been overseas. We have been working hard on the new record and are so excited to finally get back over there and give it all we’ve got.” Returning to SONISPHERE is one of the UK’s most anticipated new bands, BLITZ KIDS. The outfit has been garnering praise from the likes of BBC Radio1 with their brand new album ‘Good Youth’ and single ‘Sometimes’. On the brink of big things, audiences would be wise not miss their appearance. Says the band: “It’s a great honour to be playing at Sonisphere Festival for its big comeback to the UK! It feels like we’re part of a big welcome home party. We played a few years ago on the smallest stage, and to be asked to play on the Bohemia Stage this year is a fantastic opportunity to step it up a few gears.” SONISPHERE is excited to welcome Camden Town born and raised punk/rap artist ITCH to the weekend for the first time. After fronting critically acclaimed, ground breaking band The King Blues for seven years, lyricist ITCH took his unique brand of poetry full force into the solo act he is today. Recent album ‘The Deep End’ sees his unstoppable ferociousness cemented in record and is sure to make an unforgettable live experience. “I’m so excited to be playing Sonisphere, it’ll be my first time there. It’s an honour to be playing the same bill as metal gods such as Chas and Dave” jokes ITCH. British electro/punk rockers HOUNDS join the bill after releasing their debut EP as a cover mount with Metal Hammer. Having proved their live credentials on tour with Stone Sour, as well as at appearance at SONISPHERE 2011, and citing THE PRODIGY’s Liam Howlett in the list of people they’ve worked with, HOUNDS shouldn’t be missed. Says the band: “We can’t wait to bring the noise to Sonisphere this summer, we have been locked in an Air Raid shelter for months writing and recording our debut album so we feel like caged animals. The stage ain’t gonna know what hit it….”
SONISPHERE is thrilled to announce DREAM THEATER as Sunday’s headline act on the Saturn stage. A mesmerizing band to watch, each member with a number of impressive accolades under their belt, DREAM THEATER have been churning out their unique brand of progressive metal for over 25 years, selling over six million albums worldwide. Building their sound from a solid base of incredible musical proficiency, becoming heavier over the years, whilst retaining their trademark, the band have become one of the biggest-selling progressive bands around, resulting in an induction into the Long Island Hall of Fame. With an extensive back catalogue and impressive new material from their latest critically acclaimed self–titled album, SONISPHERE can’t wait to see them spread their prog magic at the festival. Also appearing at the festival are DEVIL YOU KNOW, the creative union of the former Killswitch Engage frontman Howard Jones, Francesco Artusato (All Shall Perish), John Sankey (Devolved/ ex Divine Heresy, Fear Factory) and Ryan Wombacher (Bleeding Through). Having voiced the Grammy-nominated Massachusetts metallers through nearly a decade of touring and two gold records, Jones is at the top of his game and the star line up, who have just played Soundwave in Australia, are ready to take on the world. DEVIL YOU KNOW will unleash its inaugural effort this spring, the highly-anticipated debut, ‘The Beauty of Destruction’ and audiences would be wise not to miss the incredible set the band are bound to deliver. Says the band: “We are beyond stoked to make Sonisphere our first UK festival! It’s an honour to be playing such a massive festival alongside some of the biggest names in hard rock and metal. What a way to play the UK for the first time. We can’t wait to get over and show everyone what Devil You Know is all about!” Glasgow heavyweights YASHIN will also be stopping by SONISPHERE. The band have been working hard, having just released their new video ‘D.E.A.D’, with recent live appearances at Warped Tour UK and supports slots with Black Veil Brides, Limp Bizkit and Papa Roach in the UK and Europe. YASHIN’s performance at the festival will be the first chance for fans to see them play tracks from their forthcoming album, ‘The Renegades’, scheduled to hit the shelves in September 2014. Says vocalist Harry Radford: “It’s a huge, HUGE thrill and a massive honour to be added to this year’s Sonisphere line up. Maiden, Metallica, Limp Bizkit, Deftones… It’s like we’ve been put in the middle of our record collections, so many of our heroes in one place, it’s actually ridiculous. We’re getting back to live action in the next couple of weeks so we will be warmed up nicely to hit the Sonisphere crowd hard. See you there!”
Making their way from Nashville, THE CADILLAC THREE will give SONISPHERE a dose of their very own country fuzz. The band boasts the kind of loud and boisterous rock that the loudest PA’s in the world were invented for. Tunes such as ‘Down to the River’, ‘Get Your Buzz On’ and ‘Back It Up’ evoke the legends of southern rock – Molly Hatchets, Outlaws or Ozark Mountain Daredevils, only with a fresher sound that’s going to blow your mind. Returning to KNEBWORTH are Yorkshire’s GLAMOUR OF THE KILL, who have just unleashed their infectious new single ‘A Freak like Me’, taken from their fantastic album ‘Savages’. Following a full US tour with Escape The Fate, a European tour with Papa Roach as main support, a largely sold out tour with Motionless In White and The Defiled in the UK, GLAMOUR OF THE KILL seem unstoppable as they are about to embark on the Heaven’s Basement’s tour before they promise to treat the festival goers to a full set of their triumphant anthems this summer. Says vocalist Davey Richmond: “We’re really excited to get back to Knebworth for this year’s Sonisphere! There’s something special about Sonisphere that you don’t seem to get from any other festival and we’re happy to see it making a bold comeback. It must be the history associated with Knebworth and all the greats that have stood on stage there throughout the years. The line up for this was already incredible, but it just got a whole lot better!”
SONISPHERE FESTIVAL is hugely excited to be welcoming back guitar legend WILKO JOHNSON. Credited as a major influence for the English punk movement, this musical heavyweight last played KNEBWORTH in 1978 with Frank Zappa, The Tubes, Peter Gabriel and more, with his band Wilko Johnson’s Solid Senders. His outstanding contribution to music was recognized when Jimmy Page presented Johnson with The Innovator Award at the Classic Rock Magazine Roll of Honour in November last year, in front of an audience including Black Sabbath, Ray Davies and Manic Street Preachers. Since being diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer, the former Dr Feelgood guitarist refused chemotherapy treatment so that he could keep on playing live and record a final album with Roger Daltrey. Johnson’s ongoing commitment to his fans and his music will resonate with the passion surrounding KNEBWORTH for a bold, beautiful and unforgettable performance. Commonly referred to as ‘the heaviest band in the world’ with at least three of their seven albums widely recognized as genre benchmarks and heavy metal classics, Dorset’s ELECTRIC WIZARD will be stopping off at SONISPHERE for the first time to headline the BOHEMIA stage on Friday Night. The band’s unique blend of stoner, sludge and doom together with their stylistic obsessions, ranging from the occult to psychedelic art, have made ELECTRIC WIZARD one of the UK’s most influential and consistently interesting bands. With a new album in the works in 2014, SONISPHERE FESTIVAL might be a rare chance to catch these grand masters of doom. When an unknown band from New Jersey released their debut album called ‘All Boro Kings’ in May 1994, no one could have predicted they would make history. With the combination of hardcore riffs, rap and rock vocals coupled with the emergence of the ever-popular skate & snowboard style, DOG EAT DOG became a defining band of the nineties. Landmark album ‘All Boro Kings’ went on to sell 600 000 records worldwide, with single ‘No Fronts’ being featured on an episode of MTV’s Beavis and Butthead.
“During our two year absence we’ve continued to believe in and work hard on Sonisphere. We said in 2013 that if we had the right line up then we would be back, and that’s exactly what we’ve got in 2014. The omens were obviously on our side when we secured the two biggest and best metal acts of all time in the year that also brings the 40th anniversary of the first concert at Knebworth. Our excitement at being able to offer Metallica and Iron Maiden on the same bill for the first time ever has been hard to contain. To do so in a year of great celebration for the iconic venue is very satisfying. Sonisphere 2014 is going to be a legendary year!”
Early Bird Weekend tickets for Sonisphere 2014 including Iron Maiden and Metallica go on sale on Monday 2nd December priced at £170 (Limited availability). The highly popular £50 deposit scheme will also make a return on early bird tickets. All Campsites open Thursday.
For further information please visit www.sonisphere.co.uk