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Saturday, 7 December 2013

Good work...

Very clever, Sonisphere; very clever indeed. Take a year off from the UK, deliver stunning events in mainland Europe and use profits to get the two biggest bands in metal to headline your return event in 2014. Impressive.

Rumours have been circulating that Sonisphere's return to the UK, which will take place at the Knebworth estate, would be headlined by Iron Maiden, Metallica and Black Sabbath. With 66.6% (the percentage of the beast...fnar...) of this proving to be accurate, the metal fraternity now waits with baited breath. A mate of mine close to the inside has suggested that The Prodigy will fill the last gap so it's going to be interesting to see what the organisers have in store.

Despite the obvious magnitude of these bookings, I wouldn't go so far as to say the Sonisphere headliners are 'better' than Download 2014; they're clearly looking at very different audiences. There will be tens of thousands of twenty-somethings who would much rather see Avenged Sevenfold than Maiden, and the monstrous crossover appeal of Linkin Park and Aerosmith demonstrate how Download has evolved from Monsters of Rock into an 'alternative' music festival.

Sonisphere on the other hand is aiming for the guaranteed pound. I think it's fair to say that die hard Maiden and Metallica fans are probably a bit older, have probably seen both bands several times and probably won't think twice about shelling out a couple of hundred notes to see them both on the same bill. Whilst they wouldn't mind A7X and Linkin Park, they'd be happy to watch them from the beer tent as opposed to being in the swell at the front in a piss-stained denim jacket. But maybe that's just me.

The undercard announcements are what's exciting me now. Download has banked While She Sleeps and Crossfaith, two bands who continue to grow in popularity and general feckin' awesomeness. They also have Status Quo, which whilst a lot of fun, is a bit of an odd one to be honest. They're the one band with the possible exception of Aerosmith who tick the box for the archetypal older rocker.

If Sonisphere can pull out other genre-defining bands (I'm thinking Sick Of It All, Napalm Death) and Download continues with the contemporary megastars and up-and-comers, then both festivals look set to be bastard brilliant. But to choose one to invest in would be impossible for me at this stage...


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