Thrash Hits

July 8th, 2009

Machine Head out of UK Sonisphere…but who’s to blame?

Machine Head Sonisphere promo photo Thrash Hits

There are two sides to every story… and neither one leaves any of the participants in this one looking that good, to be honest. Machine Head have pulled out of the UK leg of Sonisphere Festival after getting into a spat with the promoters over their slot on the bill – specifically, it seems, because Limp Bizkit have stolen their spot on the Main Stage.

Earlier this evening, Machine Head issued the following statement:

In a turn of events that has left us absolutely baffled, the promoter of the U.K. Sonisphere festival recently placed, unbeknownst to us, Limp Bizkit in our 3rd slot on the festival. Seeing as the running order was a significant part of the negotiation and agreement between us and the promoter, and the fact that we had been advertised in that slot since the festival’s announcement, you can imagine our surprise when we were “told” that we would now be playing in the 4th slot, under Limp Bizkit, and bizarrely, it was actually expected that we would quietly move down the bill without issue. We will not.

Grrr, indeed. Machine Head then then go on to criticise Sonisphere’s promoters:

We have regrettably been left with no choice but to cancel our appearance rather than stand for the disrespect and indignity offered by a promoter who won’t honor our agreement. While we know that our fans will be furious about this situation – as are we, beyond words – we trust that you will all understand our position, and we encourage you to voice your opinion about it as loud and clear as possible.

Machine Head’s painting of the promoters as unprofessional seems somewhat disingenous – they haven’t pulled out of the remaining European legs of Sonisphere, after all. The official statment from Sonisphere doesn’t exactly go out of its to discourage the idea that maybe Robb Flynn and co are throwing their toys out of the pram either:

We have spent close to two weeks talking to Machine Head to try and keep them on the festival including offering them higher billing on the Saturn Stage, so that they would be performing immediately after Limp Bizkit and before NIN. They would also get a longer time slot and were offered an increase in fee. Unfortunately the band did not find this agreeable.

Do Machine Head play for the fans – as they so regularly claim – or do they just play for themselves? True, the ‘Saturn’ stage (aka The Second Stage) they’ve been offered isn’t quite as big as the ‘Apollo’ (Main) stage, but the staggered Sonisphere schedule would’ve still meant they wouldn’t be playing against anyone who would threaten their draw. If Machine Head really are in it for the fans, then surely playing a bigger set for more moolah should almost seem like a win-win result?

Watch Machine Head play ‘Davidian’ live at Download Festival 2007

On the other hand, we can understand Machine Head’s position – having blown out Download Festival 2009 to play Sonisphere, they now find themselves being gazumped by the Fred Durst money train. Machine Head, who’ve sweated and bled and passed out onstage in order to claw their cred back from the dark days of The Burning Red, who’ve been onboard the good ship Sonisphere from the start, suddenly see themselves betrayed. Side-tracked. Pushed to one side to make way for a dumpy clown in baggy jeans and a man dressed like Papa Shango’s toilet brush.

Thrash Hits is pretty pissed that we won’t be seeing Machine-fucking-Head tear through The Blackening again in just over three weeks time, but who exactly do you think we should be pissed off at? Let us know by answering our poll:

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