Sonisphere Festival have confirmed Queen (with Adam Lambert), Faith No More, and KISS as the headliners for the UK leg of their European festival franchise. In addition to these three main stage headliners, Sonisphere have confirmed an additional twenty other acts for their 2012 UK incarnation, bringing the total of bands announced for Knebworth this summer up to 23.
In addition to the three headliners, the other bands announced for Sonisphere UK 2012 are Evanescence, Wolfmother, Tim Minchin, The Darkness, Flogging Molly, Fields of the Nephilim, Lacuna Coil, Gojira, Ghost, Incubus, Marilyn Manson, Refused, Cypress Hill, Mastodon (who are billed as playing the entire of The Hunter), Andrew W.K., Katatonia, Switchfoot, The Blackout, and I Killed The Prom Queen.
Our initial reactions? Well, it’s a good thing that after such a prolonged silence, Sonisphere came out of the gate with a substantial line-up announcement. Not only have they gotten all three headliners done in one (although obviously, The Daily Star leaked some of it a few weeks back), but they’ve got some heavyweight names for the rest of the bill in there too. All three of the announced headliners are definite “headliner-worthy”, but as we said back when we reported The Daily Star’s leak, whether or not rock fans respond well to Queen (with Adam Lambert) remains to be seen. Obviously, as this is apparently Queen’s only worldwide show in 2012 (with Faith No More and KISS as “merely” UK and European exclusives respectively), then Day Tickets for whichever day Queen play will be gone faster than any other ticket this summer. Never underestimate the size of the Queen fanbase.
Watch Queen perform with Adam Lambert on vocals at the MTV EMAs 2011:
This is also the first official confirmation that the controversially reformed Swedish hardcore tour-de-force that is Refused will be playing
at least one show on British shores. We’d also put good money on them turning up at Reading & Leeds, but there’s nothing behind that other than us putting in an educated guess. It just seems like a logical fit. This is also being billed as Refused’s only UK show too. Oh, and we offer our deepest condolences to the bank balance of anyone who shelled out hardcore $£$£ to Coachella or any other international festival the quartet had previously announced they’d be appearing at.
Notably, there are plenty of bands in this announcement making their return to the UK festival scene after several years of absence. This will be Evanescence’s first UK festival show since Download 2007, and their first since releasing their self-titled third album. Likewise, it’ll be Wolfmother’s first UK festival appearance since 2006, and will see Incubus make their first UK festival appearance since Download 2008.
Most importantly, and unless we’re very much mistaken, Sonisphere 2012 also sees Thrash Hits columnist and all-round role-model, Andrew W.K., play his first UK festival date since 2002. That’s a flippin’ decade. We know that plenty of festivals have been trying to bag the world’s foremost authority on how to party for several years now, but until now, things just haven’t worked out to make this possible. We’re already sweating at the seams thinking about it.
Watch Thrash Hits TV: Andrew W.K. discussing his Top 6 New York City movies:
It also sees Marilyn Manson make his first UK festival appearance since his woeful 2009 Download performance – hopefully with his new album, Born Villain, to promote, Brian Warner and chums might have a bit of fire in their bellies this time around. Then again, they had The High End of Low to promote in 2009, and that didn’t stop them putting in one truly one of the most awful festival performances in recent memory. Let’s just say we’ll be keeping our ears to the ground as to how his own headline shows prior to Sonisphere go down.
Tim Minchin’s presence as a Big Name in The First Announcement is slightly unexpected, but on reflection shouldn’t be – not only has the Aussie performed at Sonisphere before (and crammed he Bohemia tent to the rafters when he did), but the undeniable success of Bill Bailey’s turn on the Saturn stage last year means it’s a logical step for Sonisphere to book another big-name “musical” comedian.
That said, no-one could really claim there are many big surprises in this line-up announcement, what with several of the names (Ghost, Mastodon, Gojira, and a few of the bands we’ve mentioned up above) having turned up on several of the previously-announced European Sonisphere bills. Likewise, whatever the cause of Sonisphere announcing their UK line-up, the drip-drip effect of leaks (several of today’s acts, for example, had their Sonisphere dates up on their websites waaaay before this evening’s announcement, and Queen, err, rather unsubtly posted this) has diluted the impact even further. Still, all in all, Sonisphere UK has finally said something, and the much-lamented game of one-upmanship between Download and Sonisphere can finally begin in earnest. Please feel free take your bitterness to either festival’s respective forum and vent there. K THNX.
Weekend and Day Tickets for the UK leg of Sonisphere Festival 2012 will be on sale from 9am on Thursday 23 February 2012, from the official Sonisphere Festival website. Prices for Weekend Tickets start at £145 without camping, with a limited-number of Day Tickets going on sale for £75 (and note that all prices are quoted without the usual fees). Once again, the festival is taking place in the grounds of Knebworth Park, and this year falls over the weekend of 06-08 July 2012. This handy line-up poster has also turned up indicating some of the day splits, c/o pretty much half the bands that have been announced Facebook pages: