Iron Maiden and Metallica to headline Sonisphere 2014

The Knebworth bash returns after a two-year hiatus

Iron Maiden and Metallica to headline Sonisphere 2014

Photo: PA

Iron Maiden and Metallica will headline next year's Sonisphere Festival.

The Knebworth bash was cancelled in 2013 and 2012 but returns this year with the two metal titans making their only UK festival appearances at the event.

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Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson said in a statement: "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."

Speaking about the band's current Maiden England tour, he added: "This will be the last concert of our Maiden England Tour…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."

Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich meanwhile commented: "This just works on all fronts: Metallica and Knebworth, Metallica by Request, Metallica and Iron Maiden."

He continued: "To be invited to co-headline the 40th anniversary celebration at the legendary Knebworth House is truly a mindfuck. Considering the iconic bands whose performances at Knebworth are part of rock and roll history, it’s not only a next level honour, 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."

Sonisphere 2014 will take place in Knebworth Park between July 4 and 6. A spokesperson for the festival says: "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."

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