Sonisphere Festival

The Sonisphere Festival is a touring rock music festival which takes place across Europe between June and August. The festival is owned by John Jackson and Kilimanjaro Live. It is jointly promoted by K2 and Kilimanjaro Live.It has hosted heavy metal bands such as Iron Maiden, Metallica, Mötley Crüe, Slayer, and Megadeth.

It all began with the idea of John Jackson in the late 90s. John chose the name Sonisphere, from a combination of Sonic and Sphere. In 2008 Stuart Galbraith had formed business partnership with AEG Live called Kilimanjaro Live. John Jackson approached Stuart Galbraith with the idea of a Pan-World touring festival which fit in with plans Kilimanjaro Live had to launch a UK festival. John Jackson is the Creator and Director of Sonisphere and Galbriath the Producer.

The first run of festivals ran throughout the summer of 2009 at six venues, returning in 2010 and 2011 with 11 venues.

Plans for future festivals consist of increasing the number of festivals, making the event global rather than local to Europe, expanding the UK event into a 3-day festival, and increasing the UK capacity from 40,000 to 60,000 attendees.

Modern History


The 2009 Sonisphere festival tour was made up of six one-day festivals across Europe with a seventh festival in England spanning two days. The festival had a core group of bands that played each of the six dates with numerous extra bands added to each date individually. The locations for the 2009 festivals include Goffert Park, Nijmegen, Netherlands; Hockenheimring, Germany; The Forum, Barcelona, Spain; Folkets Park, Hultsfred, Sweden; Kirjurinluoto, Pori, Finland; and Knebworth House, Knebworth, England. Metallica were the main headliners for each of the 2009 Sonisphere Festivals.


The Sonisphere 2010 tour visited eleven locations around Europe between June 16 and August 8, 2010. The locations for Sonisphere 2010 were Poland, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, Turkey, Spain, United Kingdom, Sweden and Finland. Unlike in 2009, there was not a full touring headliner performing each date. The headliners for 2010 were Iron Maiden, Metallica and Rammstein.


Sonisphere returned in 2011 with new venues in India, France and Italy but did not return to Romania. It also marked the first time that Metallica played in India. The first headliner announced for Knebworth, England was Slipknot.


Sonisphere 2012  was scheduled to take place from July 6 to July 8, 2012 in UK , Poland at Bemowo Airport , Spain at Getafe Open Air, Switzerland at Yverdon-les-Bains ,Finland at Kalasatama , France at Amneville.


It was announced on November 12, 2013, that Sonisphere would return to Knebworth, UK, from July 4 to July 6, 2014. The festival would celebrate 40 years of Rock Music at Knebworth Park. Sonisphere would come to Hamburg, Germany at June 4, 2014.


Sonisphere UK 2015 is to be cancelled as the organisers cannot get a line-up together they deem suitable for the event…


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