Iron Maiden will visit China for first time as band announce world tour dates

Metal group set to begin 'Book Of Souls' tour in Australia

Iron Maiden have announced the first details of their 2016 ‘Book Of Souls’ world tour.

The band will begin the tour in Australia and New Zealand with further gigs in Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Japan and South Africa set to be announced in addition to an “extensive” run of European dates.

Iron Maiden will also play their first ever gigs in China and El Salvador on the extensive tour. Tickets for the first seven dates, all of which take place in Australia and New Zealand, go on sale on September 24. The band will play in Christchurch, Auckland, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth between April 29 and May 14 next year.

The band confirmed their plans for gigs around the world in a statement posted on the official Iron Maiden website. Frontman Bruce Dickinson will fly the band between gigs on a Boeing 747-400 jumbo jet, aka Ed Force One.

NMERichard Johnson/NME

According to the band, they will play three US dates in March before heading to Central America for a gig in Mexico and their first concert in El Salvador as well as a performance in Costa Rica. Shows in Argentina, Chile and a number of shows in Brazil will follow before the metal giants return to the USA at the end of March for ten more cities plus gigs in Canada.

“We cannot wait to get back out on tour,” Dickinson said in a statement. “When we start in the USA in late February it will be 19 months since our last show at Sonisphere in the UK so we are raring to go. Maiden thrive on touring and getting out to our fans, it’s what we do best, so it will be a great feeling to board our new Jumbo Ed Force One with the crew and the gear and head round the globe and get back on stage for you guys,” Dickinson adds. “We haven’t played in Australia and New Zealand for a number of years so it will be a pleasure to play for our Antipodean cousins again, irrespective of who wins the dates with destiny at Twickenham in a few weeks’ time!!

“We are also in the middle of creating the new show and rest assured we are working hard to bring you all something spectacular, something with a lot of heart!!! You certainly deserve it for your patience.”

Iron Maiden’s ‘Book Of Souls’ album is currently Number One in the Official UK Album Chart, having been released on September 4.

Bruce Dickinson recently spoke about his recent cancer scare, suggesting that it may have been caused by the sexually transmitted HPV virus.

The singer was given the all-clear in May after contracting cancer at the back of his tongue, for which he was treated with seven weeks of chemotherapy.