THERE will be no Sonisphere Festival 2013 at Knebworth House next summer.

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It is the second year running the UK leg of the touring rock and metal event at the Hertfordshire stately home has been axed by promoters.

A tweet from the festival’s official Twitter site today (Friday) said: “Sonisphere UK is not on in 2013, couldn’t make it work.”

Although confirmed dates hadn’t been annouced for next summer, the news comes just weeks after festival co-founder Stuart Galbraith told reporters: “We’re working on a bill now, hopefully to announce before Christmas.”

That line-up, however, failed to materialise with suitable headliners not available and the plug has now been pulled on the festival for next summer.

A statement from festival organisers released today said: “Team Sonisphere is sad to say that it has now been confirmed that Sonisphere UK will take a year off in 2013.

“The three Sonisphere Festivals to date at Knebworth in 2009/2010/2011 set a very high standard and indeed 2011 was voted the best festival line-up by the UK Festival Awards.

“We think it is really important that the event only runs when it has a line-up that sets it apart from the competition whilst also carrying a ticket price that allows us to offer real value for money to the music fans.

“We were hoping to do that in 2013 but unfortunately it wasn’t possible to fulfil both aims with the principle problem of there being a lack of available headliners of the calibre of previous festivals at Knebworth.

“We made offers to over a dozen major artists but for various reasons none of these offers led to securing a strong bill.”

Team Sonisphere’s statement added: “We have already started work on Sonisphere UK 2014 so hope to be able to bring you news about that later next year.”

European Sonispheres are taking place next year in Amneville, France, and Milan, Italy, with Iron Maiden headlining. More European news will be announced early next year.

Touring rock extravaganza Sonisphere first arrived on the UK circuit in 2009, with Linkin Park and Metallica headlining a two-day festival at Knebworth.

Iron Maiden, Alice Cooper and Rammstein topped the bill in Hertfordshire the following year, with the festival expanded to a three-day event.

The sold-out 2011 Sonisphere was headlined by thrash metal’s so-called Big 4 of Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax, Scottish rockers Biffy Clyro and Slipknot.

However, this year’s fourth UK edition of the festival scheduled for July – with Queen featuring Adam Lambert, Kiss and Faith No More headlining – was dramatically scrapped just weeks after tickets went on sale.

A statement from Team Sonisphere on March 29 said: “It is with very heavy hearts and much regret that we announce the cancellation of Sonisphere Knebworth 2012.

“Putting the festival together in what is proving to be a very challenging year was more difficult than we anticipated and we have spent the last few months fighting hard to keep Sonisphere in the calendar.

“Unfortunately circumstances have dictated that we would be unable to run the festival to a standard that both the artists and that Sonisphere’s audience would rightly expect.”

That statement continued: “We want to express our deepest regrets to the artists and to thank all the staff, suppliers and contractors who worked so hard with us to try and pull off what has proven to be an impossible task and we know how much they share in our disappointment.”

Now Sonisphere 2013 won’t take place in England either, with the announcement coming on Friday, December 21, 2012 – the end of the Mayan long count calendar.

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