ROCK fans will have to wait until January before discovering who will be headlining next year’s Sonisphere Festival in Knebworth.

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The international touring festival returns to the grounds of Knebworth House next summer from Friday, July 6 to Sunday, July 8.

No acts have been confirmed yet and a first 2012 line-up announcement is expected in the New Year.

Kilimanjaro Live – the organisers of Sonisphere – confirmed as much in its Christmas email message to subscribers.

It said: “Merry Christmas from everyone at Team Sonisphere. Let see what Santa delivers for January...”

And a status update on the festival’s official Facebook page last week read: “It will be into January before we start announcing. The throngs of Xmas are upon us.”

Earlier this month, replying to a question on when the first bands would be confirmed, Sonisphere’s Twitter site tweeted: “UK probably not this side of Xmas, working on some of the European ones at this moment.”

Knebworth’s Sonisphere Festival collected the Line-Up of the Year at the UK Festival Awards 2011 last month.

A tweet on Sonisphere’s Twitter page at the time said: “How the heck are we going to top that? (looks at the rabbit pen)”

July’s sold-out camping festival featured thrash metal’s Big 4 of Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax on the same stage for the first time in this country.

Scottish rockers Biffy Clyro headlined the Saturday night, with Weezer, The Mars Volta, The Sisters of Mercy and Watford hardcore punks Gallows also on the bill.

Masked American metallers Slipknot closed the main stage activities on the Sunday night with their emotional return to the UK after the death of founder member Paul Gray in 2010.

Limp Bizkit, Motorhead and comedian Bill Bailey also entertained 60,000 metal fans at the legendary outdoor music venue.

American rockers Red Hot Chili Peppers, who were one of the bands initially rumoured for Sonisphere 2012, will not be at the festival next year as they are playing their own massive outdoor gig at Knebworth on Saturday, June 23.

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