Sonisphere Knebworth 2014 headliners Metallica announced for Glastonbury Festival

Sonisphere 2014 Knebworth headliners Metallica will now also play Glastonbury Sonisphere 2014 Knebworth headliners Metallica will now also play Glastonbury

Friday, May 9, 2014
9:55 AM

Sonisphere Knebworth’s ‘exclusive’ Sunday night headliners Metallica have been announced for this year’s Glastonbury Festival.

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Metallica's James Hetfield on stage at Sonisphere 2011 at KnebworthMetallica's James Hetfield on stage at Sonisphere 2011 at Knebworth

After months of speculation, the American thrash metal legends were finally confirmed on Thursday for next month’s vacant Saturday night Pyramid Stage slot at Worthy Farm – despite previously being announced by Sonisphere 2014 organisers as “UK exclusives” at Knebworth.
Metallica’s official Twitter account, @Metallica, tweeted: “Worst kept secret in rock and roll is now confirmed... see you at @GlastoFest on June 28th! #MetOnTour”

A tweet from Sonisphere’s Twitter handle, @Sonisphere, on Thursday read: “So #Metallica to play Glastonbury the week before us. Good on them”

International touring festival Sonisphere returns to the grounds of Knebworth House for the fourth time from Friday, July 4 to Sunday, July 6 after a two year absence.

When Metallica – vocalist/guitarist James Hetfield, drummer Lars Ulrich, lead guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Robert Trujillo – were first announced for Sonisphere’s UK leg at Knebworth Park, their ‘By Request’ set on Sunday, July 6 was billed as their only UK date of 2014.

The Sonisphere 2014 Knebworth line-up poster with The Prodigy headlining the Friday night, Iron Maiden on the Saturday and Metallica closing the festival on the SundayThe Sonisphere 2014 Knebworth line-up poster with The Prodigy headlining the Friday night, Iron Maiden on the Saturday and Metallica closing the festival on the Sunday

Now the Enter Sandman festival favourites will play Glastonbury a week earlier on Saturday, June 28.

A statement on Sonisphere’s website and official Facebook page read: “No doubt you have all heard the news today that Metallica are to appear at this year’s Glastonbury Festival.

“It was only last week that the band were officially asked to headline the legendary Pyramid Stage and, in turn, they immediately asked Team Sonisphere what we thought about releasing them from their exclusive appearance at Sonisphere.

“Glastonbury is an institution and the pinnacle of performance for any artist in the UK and we know the band will be amazing!.

Sonisphere Festival's Facebook posting about Metallica will be playing GlastonburySonisphere Festival's Facebook posting about Metallica will be playing Glastonbury

“But remember Glastonbury is already a sell out and so the only chance to buy a ticket to see Metallica in the UK is at Sonisphere. We can’t wait!”

Metallica’s July Knebworth date will be the band’s third appearance at the Hertfordshire stately home, after headlining the inaugural Sonisphere in 2009 and returning in 2011 as part of ‘Big 4’ Friday alongside Anthrax, Slayer and Megadeth.

The Prodigy will headline the opening Friday night at Sonisphere 2014 on July 4, with British heavy metal legends Iron Maiden playing the Apollo main stage on the Saturday night.

Metallica will close the festival on the Sunday, with their interactive ‘By Request’ setlist chosen by ticket holders.

Metallica on stage [Picture: PG Brunelli]Metallica on stage [Picture: PG Brunelli]

Formed in 1981 by drummer Lars Ulrich and vocalist and guitarist James Hetfield, Metallica are one of the most influential and successful rock bands in history.

When they were confirmed for Sonisphere 2014 last year, Ulrich said it was an honour to be invited to co-headline the 40th anniversary celebrations “at the legendary Knebworth House”.

He added: “Considering the iconic bands whose performances at Knebworth are part of rock and roll history, it’s not only a next level honour, but a somewhat humbling undertaking.

“And what could be more fitting on our third Knebworth go-around than to play an all-request set, chosen entirely by the fans?

Metallica headlining Sonisphere 2009 at Knebworth House [Picture: PG Brunelli]Metallica headlining Sonisphere 2009 at Knebworth House [Picture: PG Brunelli]

“We are so excited about the limitless possibilities of our friends picking what songs Metallica get to perform on this forthcoming evening from the nearly 140 songs we’ve recorded throughout our ride.

“Who knows what crazy challenges will be thrown our way? Maybe a song that has never been performed live before? Maybe a few deep cuts that haven’t been aired in ages?

“Maybe a couple of your toe-tapping favorites? An obscure cover? Whatever happens, it will be unique, it will be special, and it’s all up to you.”

Ulrich is also delighted to be on the Knebworth bill alongside fellow headliners Iron Maiden.

He said: “Add the cherry on top… co-headlining with Iron Maiden, who are a big reason that Metallica exists in the first place.

“Although we haven’t played together on the same day since 1988, this is the closest we’ve come for 25 years, and for all our fans who share the same love for Iron Maiden as we, the band members do, this will hopefully amount to what many rock fans would consider a dream bill. Bring it on.”

The Sonisphere 2014 line-up also includes the likes of Limp Bizkit, Alice In Chains, Frank Turner, Slayer, Deftones, Mastodon, Gary Numan, The Sisters of Mercy and Dream Theater over the weekend.

Day tickets and weekend camping passes are available from the Sonisphere website.

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