Iron Maiden and Metallica for Sonisphere 2014
Iron Maiden and Metallica will headline Sonisphere 2014 when it returns to Knebworth on July 4-6 next year.
It’s the first time the iconic bands have appeared at the same festival in the UK, and it’s the only British appearance of the year for them both.
Metallica headlined the first Sonisphere in 2009 and Maiden played the leading role the following year. They’ve returned to ensure the 40th anniversary of the first-ever music festival at Knebworth Park is a memorable one.
Bruce Dickinson and co end their massive Maiden England world tour with the July performance. He says: “We all grew up in England well aware of the importance of the legendary concerts at Knebworth.
“Without being clichéd, it really is an honour and privilege to return 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.
“It’s very fitting to end a long and hugely enjoyable tour in our own back yard. We have tweaked the Maiden England setlist 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’re there on the day it’s highly likely you will hear some of these songs played live for the very last time ever. 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.”
Metallica’s By Request show will also be unique – fans who buy tickets will be entitled to vote on the band’s setlist, meaning 17 of the 18 tracks they perform will be by request of the people in the audience. The last track, chosen by the band themselves, will be a brand new piece.
Drummer Lars Ulrich says: “This just works on all fronts: Metallica and Knebworth, Metallica by Request, Metallica and Iron Maiden.
“We are so excited about the limitless possibilities of our friends picking the songs. Who knows what crazy challenges will be thrown our way – maybe a song that’s never been performed live before? Maybe a few deep cuts that haven’t been aired in ages? An obscure cover? Whatever happens is all up to you.
“And the cherry on top: co-headlining with 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 Maiden as we do, this will amount to what many rock fans would consider a dream bill.”
Sonisphere organisers are delighted to return to Knebworth after a two-year absence. They say: “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. 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.”
Many more bands, including a final headliner, will be announced in due course.
Earlybird Sonisphere tickets are on sale today via http://sonisphere.co.uk/ priced £170 but with limited availability. The event’s £50 deposit scheme will return early next year.