Queen on emotional return to Knebworth for Sonisphere 2012 Festival
MEMBERS of music legends Queen have talked about the rock group’s ‘emotional’ return to Knebworth Park this summer as headliners of the 2012 Sonisphere Festival.
The international touring festival rolls into the Knebworth House estate for the fourth time from Friday, July 6 to Sunday, July 8.
And Queen will make a world exclusive headline appearance on the Saturday night – 26 years after playing before 120,000 fans at the famous Hertfordshire venue.
Flamboyant, face-painted rockers Kiss and fellow Americans Faith No More will headline the other two nights of Sonisphere 2012.
But it is Queen’s special one-off show, with former American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert filling the shows of the late Freddie Mercury, that will send shockwaves through the music world.
"I’m honoured to be able to pay my respects to Freddie’s memory. He’s a personal hero of mine and I am deeply grateful for the chance to sing such powerful music for fans of this legendary band."
Queen guitarist Brian May said: “Judging by my incoming mail, this decision will make a lot of people very happy.
“It’s a worthy challenge for us, and I’m sure Adam would meet with Freddie’s approval.
“And what better place to revisit, and walk those emotional paths than Knebworth? It will be a rush.”
Queen’s final historic concert with singer Mercury on stage was at Knebworth Park in August 1986.
Famous for hits such as A Kind of Magic, Radio Gaga, Another One Bites The Dust and multi-million selling classic Bohemian Rhapsody, Sonisphere will be the only chance for ordinary Queens fans to see them live on stage this year.
Remaining original group members May and drummer Roger Taylor will be joined by US singer-songwriter Lambert, who performed We Are The Champions with the band during season eight of American Idol in May 2009.
Lambert also joined May and Taylor for the closing showcase at the recent MTV Europe Awards, where Queen were present to collect their Global Icon award.
Their eight-minute MTVE set went down a storm with fans.
Of performing with the group again at Knebworth, Lambert said: “I’m completely in awe of the Queen phenomenon.
“The thought of sharing the stage for a full set is so beautifully surreal.
“I’m honoured to be able to pay my respects to Freddie’s memory.
“He’s a personal hero of mine and I am deeply grateful for the chance to sing such powerful music for fans of this legendary band.
“I know the evening will be a huge milestone for me, and with the support of Brian, Roger and the rest of the band I know magic will be on display.”
Queen’s previous performance at Knebworth Park was set up to be the glorious last stop for the band’s hugely successful Magic Tour.
On what will undoubtedly rate as one of this summer’s most highly-anticipated and emotionally charged concerts, Queen drummer Taylor said: “I remember Knebworth as being the most incredible gig, with the most amazing audience and the sound on stage was utterly perfect.
“It was a fitting last stand before a live audience for Freddie.
“It will be a real challenge to complete the circle by returning with Adam.”
Tickets for Sonisphere 2012 went on sale to the general public on Thursday.
* Keep checking the Welwyn Hatfield Times website at www.whtimes24.co.uk for the latest Sonisphere Festival line-up announcements.