Sonisphere Festival: ‘No UK Soni in 2017’
NPAS – Boreham
Rock and metal fans hoping for the return of the Sonisphere Festival in 2017 will be disappointed.
The UK leg of the touring music festival has been held at Knebworth House in Hertfordshire four times since 2009.
But Sonisphere’s official Twitter account tweeted earlier this month that there will be “no UK soni in 2017”.
After news broke before Christmas of the sudden collapse of music magazine publisher Team Rock, @Sonisphere tweeted: “Terrible news over at the Metal Hammer, Classic Rock and Prog magazine camps. Thank you for all the support over the years”
The magazines and associated websites have since been saved after former owners Future struck a deal with administrators to buy the brands back.
In response to Sonisphere’s tweet, a Twitter follower of the festival asked: “@Sonisphere is Sonisphere dead in the UK now?”
Sonisphere’s reply was: “undead”.
A day later, Sonisphere tweeted: “you guys love reading into an idle comment. No uk soni in 2017. Sorry”
A rival to Donington Park’s Download Festival, Sonisphere first arrived at Knebworth in August 2009.
The inaugural Soni was headlined by Linkin Park on the Saturday and Metallica the following night.
The likes of Nine Inch Nails, Bullet For My Valentine, Avenged Sevenfold, Heaven & Hell, Machine Head, Limp Bizkit, Alice in Chains and Feeder also featured on the Sonisphere line-up.
The festival returned to the Hertfordshire stately home’s grounds near Stevenage the following year, now expanded to three nights.
School’s Out shock-rocker Alice Cooper topped the bill on the opening Friday night, with German industrial metallers Rammstein and British heavy metal legends Iron Maiden headlining the main stage over the rest of the weekend.
Others on the Sonisphere 2010 poster included The Cult, Placebo, Europe, Gary Numan, Iggy Pop & The Stooges, Good Charlotte, Pendulum, Slayer, Alice in Chains, Bring Me The Horizon and Mötley Crüe.
Organised by Kilimanjaro Live, the third Sonisphere edition in 2011 featured thrash metal’s so-called Big 4 – Anthrax, Megadeth, Slayer and Metallica – together on the same line-up in the UK for the first time ever.
They were followed on the Saturday night by Scottish rockers Biffy Clyro’s first major headline slot.
Masked Iowa metallers Slipknot closed the main Apollo Stage on the Sunday night.
Motörhead, All Time Low, Weezer, You Me at Six, Limp Bizkit, Mastodon and comedian Bill Bailey also appeared over the weekend.
Sonisphere 2012 was dramatically cancelled after KISS, Faith No More and Queen featuring Adam Lambert had been announced as main stage headliners, and tickets had already gone on sale.
After taking a year off in 2013, Sonisphere returned to Knebworth Park in 2014 to mark the historic rock venue’s 40th anniversary of hosting huge outdoor concerts.
The Prodigy headlined on the Friday night, with Iron Maiden playing on the Saturday.
Metallica, making their third Knebworth Sonisphere appearance, headlined on the Sunday night.
Deftones, Frank Turner, Anthrax, The Sisters of Mercy, Babymetal, Alice in Chains, Mastodon, Airbourne, Chas & Dave and Slayer also appeared across the weekend.
There was no Sonisphere in the UK in 2015 after promoters were unable to book a suitable line-up.
An official Sonisphere statement at the time said: “We’ve said in the past that Sonisphere will only go ahead if we feel it is going to be good enough and that hasn’t changed.”
Last year, 2016, was another blank summer for the festival in the UK.