Will Sonisphere ever return to the UK?

The touring rock festival last graced these shores back in 2014

Kilimanjaro Live CEO Stuart Galbraith has revealed that it wouldn’t make financial sense to stage another Sonisphere Festival in the UK.

The touring festival last rocked up to these shores in 2014, with Iron Maiden, The Prodigy and Metallica the headliners at Knebworth Park. However, the festival has not been staged in the UK since then, with organisers admitting in 2015 that they’d struggled to put together a “good enough” line-up.

Galbraith has now shed light on why the festival hasn’t been staged since that 2014 edition, with financial issues the key cause.

“The amount of money we used to risk on Sonisphere went up and up because of the cost of talent and the cost of running the festivals went through the roof,” Galbraith told Music Week. “We can now run Kew and Chelsea for about 20% of the risk, but we still get the same level of return and so it just doesn’t make sense to run Sonisphere in the UK.

“One thing that [the] Sonisphere project taught us in the UK is the level of risk now versus the return,” he added. “Elsewhere in the world, the Sonisphere brand is something that we will still keep using but – in the UK – running a 70,000 or 80,000-capacity festival and spending what is now up to $5 million (£3.5m) on headliners is just a broken business model.”

Galbraith also said that Kilimanjaro Live are aiming to get back into festival promoting, “but on a precision basis.”

“We’re not going to risk £12m on an 80,000-capacity festival, you don’t need to do that any longer.”

A new festival at Sonisphere’s former home of Knebworth Park was announced last week – with the event set to feature a markedly different set of artists to those normally offered by Sonisphere.