Sonisphere 2014 festival line-up to celebrate Knebworth’s rich musical history

Sonisphere 2014 Festival at Knebworth will be headlined by Metallica and Iron Maiden Sonisphere 2014 Festival at Knebworth will be headlined by Metallica and Iron Maiden

Friday, December 6, 2013
9:19 PM

Bands that reference the rich musical heritage of Knebworth will appear at next year’s Sonisphere 2014 rock festival.

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Sonisphere's Stuart Galbraith and Knebworth House's Martha and Henry Lytton CobboldSonisphere's Stuart Galbraith and Knebworth House's Martha and Henry Lytton Cobbold

The European touring festival will return to the grounds of Knebworth House from Friday, July 4 to Sunday, July 6.

Metal legends Metallica and Iron Maiden were confirmed earlier this week as co-headliners of the three-day event in the Hertfordshire countryside.

The fourth UK edition of Sonisphere will also help mark 40 years of concerts at the iconic rock venue.

Sonisphere founder Stuart Galbraith revealed 2014’s festival will pay homage to some of the greats who have appeared at the stately home over the decades.

"We said in 2013 that if we had the right line-up then we would be back, and that’s exactly what we’ve got in 2014."

Team Sonisphere about Knebworth festival

Talking to the Welwyn Hatfield Times on the day of the 2013 UK Festival Awards, he said: “There will be heritage bands, and certainly a lot of new bands there.

“Certainly there will be reference points in the festival that reflects the acts they [Knebworth] have had play during their 40 years.”

He added: “We certainly have spent a lot of time combing the bills of festivals they have had there.

“There will be some obvious inclusions and some surprises.”

Monday saw his company, Kilimanjaro Live, reveal that metal titans Iron Maiden and Metallica will share a British bill at Sonisphere for the first time.

The likes of Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Oasis, The Rolling Stones, Queen and Robbie Williams have all played legendary concerts at Knebworth over the years.

The first festival at Knebworth, in 1974, was headlined by The Allman Brothers Band, with Pink Floyd appearing the following summer.

The Rolling Stones rocked Knebworth in 1976, with Mick Jagger famously leaving a pair of underpants at the bottom of the bed he slept in at the stately home.

Genesis headlined A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 1978.

Rock history was made in 1979 when Led Zeppelin played Knebworth, while The Beach Boys appeared the following year.

In 1985 it was the turn of Deep Purple, Meat Loaf and Scorpions to play The Return of The Knebworth Fayre.

More than 120,000 fans turned up for Queen’s Magic Tour date at Knebworth in 1986, the show being Freddie Mercury’s last live concert with the group.

Genesis headlined again in 1992, before Oasis sold 250,000 tickets for two huge shows at the height of Britpop in 1996.

Robbie Williams went one better than Oasis in 2003 by playing a record-breaking three nights at Knebworth.

Red Hot Chili Peppers took centre stage in the summer of 2012, with their headline gig promoted by the same team behind the Sonisphere brand.

Tickets are on sale now for the 2014 Knebworth festival via the Sonisphere website http://sonisphere.co.uk/

Early bird weekend tickets cost £170, with limited availability.

* Keep checking back at the Welwyn Hatfield Times website http://www.whtimes.co.uk/what-s-on – the festival’s local newspaper – for the latest line-up news and ticket details.

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