My absence for the last few weeks can be explained by one small thing, which weighed 8.3lbs and was born on February 20th. She's just about the most amazing thing I've ever seen and I am one over the moon motherfucker. I can't wait until she's a bit older and coming with me and her mum to Family Camping at Download.
Speaking of Download, it's going to be one hell of a festival this year not only due to the stellar line up, but also down to yesterday's confirmation from the organisers of Sonisphere that this year's Knebworth event is cancelled. In terms of festival news, this is a pretty effing big story.
The official statements from Sonisphere is as follows:
"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.
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. We also want to send a huge thanks to the Sonisphere fans who stuck by us and we are so sorry that we can’t fulfil what we set out to do.
Ticket holders will automatically receive a full refund direct from their ticket agents.
Download Festival organiser Andy Copping has come out and said that he's 'not jumping for joy', which is thoroughly decent of him but let's be honest; if your biggest competitor dies on it's arse there will be an inevitable sense of relief. And despite the fact that Download is remaining a three day event, the bill will now expand to accommodate some of the bands from Sonisphere. This could mean one of the finest festival line ups in the history of the world.
What does this mean for Sonisphere in the coming years though? To be honest, I'd be surprised if it didn't come back in some way. Iron Maiden and Rammstein headlining in 2010, the Big 4 in 2011; they've proved they have the trouser junk to get the biggest names in metal. And let's not forget that the demise of this year's UK event hasn't had any impact on the Poland, Spain, Switzerland, Finland and France events that will still host Metallica, Faith No More, Machine Head, etc.
As soon as Download announced the original Black Sabbath, plus Metallica playing The Black Album in full for the first time, Sonisphere had a mountain to climb. Queen with Adam Lambert was a good shout. I think Adam Lambert is an astounding singer and am sure it's be a good show but in terms of rock festivals, pitting an American Idol runner up against Ozzy Osbourne is like asking whether you'd like an ice cold beer on a summer's day or be kicked in the balls by a donkey.
So what can Sonisphere do in 2013? Original G&R line up? Led Zeppelin? The options are there but they'd better crack on sooner rather than later to avoid joining the Phoenix Festival as an also-ran in the history of UK music festivals.