Knebworth faces financial struggle after Sonisphere cancellation

Money from ticket sales needed to fund restoration programme

The Knebworth Estate is facing a “huge hole” in its finances, following the cancellation of this year’s Sonisphere festival.

The stately home, which was due to play host to headliners Kiss, Queen and Faith No More, is counting the cost of the decision to axe the three-day heavy rock event on July 6-8.

Martha Lytton-Cobbold, who manages the Hertfordshire mansion and accompanying grounds, told The Independent how the cancellation will affect the family’s plans to carry out important restoration work.

She said:

Losing Sonisphere has left a huge hole in our financial projections. But there is a lot of economic instability which affected ticket sales and the promoters took an intelligent decision to cancel this year.

Profits from previous Sonisphere festivals, which began at the outdoor venue in 2009, have contributed to a £9.2million restoration programme to update and fix parts of the main building and gardens. The Lytton-Cobbold family may have to leave the property if they cannot maintain the estate.

This organisers of Sonisphere Festival confirmed on Thursday (March 29) that this summer’s event has been cancelled.

The event was due to take at Knebworth Park event on July 6-8 with headline sets from Queen and Adam Lambert, Kiss and Faith No More. The bill also included Refused, Marilyn Manson, Evanescence, The Darkness, The Blackout and Skindred.

The festival’s organisers have put out an official statement to explain the cancellation, which blames the shelving on “a very challenging year [that] was more difficult than anticipated”.

You can read the full statement about the cancellation and all the information about ticket refunds at