By Alan Davies
Friday, November 16, 2012
THE first 2013 Sonisphere Festival European headliner has been revealed – but there’s still no confirmed dates or line-up details for the tour’s possible UK leg at Knebworth House.
Iron Maiden were this week announced for both Sonisphere Italy at Fiera Milano Rho in Milan on Saturday, June 8 and Sonisphere France.
The British heavy metal legends will play the two-day French leg of the international touring festival at Amneville, in the north east of France, over the same weekend as the Soni show in Italy.
Motorhead, Airbourne and Trust were also added to the Sonisphere line-up for France today (Friday).
However, no dates for the UK version at Knebworth House have officially been confirmed yet.
Sonisphere first landed in the grounds of the stately home in 2009 with Metallica and Linkin Park headlining.
But the 2012 festival at the legendary Hertfordshire rock venue was cancelled. July’s three-day rock and metal event was due to be headlined by Queen with Adam Lambert, Kiss and Faith No More.
Meanwhile, Bruce Dickinson, Steve Harris and co – who headlined at Knebworth Park in 2010 – will be bringing their Maiden England tour to Italy and the 30,000-capacity Snowhall Park in France next summer.
The dates are just a week before the Download Festival at Donington and the first Sonisphere line-up announcements for 2013.
The Maiden England tour sees the band recreate the stage show of 1988’s Seventh Son Tour.
Iron Maiden’s appearance at Sonisphere France is their only planned open-air performance in the country next year.
Their recently announced show at Paris, Bercy, on June 5 sold out almost instantly and the 30,000 tickets for Sonisphere are also expected to go fast.
Iron Maiden frontman Dickinson said: “We’ve headlined many Sonisphere European Festivals in the past, including UK [at Knebworth], Sweden, Spain and Italy, and there’s always been a terrific vibe at each of them.
“After hearing how quickly the Paris Bercy show sold out, we’re now looking forward to bringing the Maiden England tour to even more fans at Sonisphere France.
“Thanks to modern technology, we’ve been able to update and improve on the original 1988 production for Maiden England.
“We will be bringing with us a huge new lightshow, stage set, various incarnations of Eddie, plenty of pyro and all kinds of other exciting stuff for the fans.”