Sonisphere 2012 rumours round up

Chris Eustace runs down the top rumours for the fourth edition of Sonisphere, coming this July.

Your move, Sonisphere – Download’s already announced its’ main bands, and very impressive they are too. We decided we had to find out who was heading to Knebworth in July, and after stalking Tom DeLonge proved way too expensive (and there’s only so many “Your Mom” jokes you can take), we went home, vowing to round up all the Sonisphere rumours we could find.

The official Sonisphere 2012 line-up announcement is expected shortly, so keep checking Virtual Festivals and following up on Twitter and Facebook for more information. Until then, have a look at these:  

Scuzzy Rumours?

This caught our eye in the TV guide last night: “Coming this Monday at 9pm on Scuzz TV: our ‘Sonisphere Festival’s Mystery Headliner’ show! We’re going to play you 13 bands, one of which will be the first headliner to be named by Sonisphere. Which one? You’ll have to wait and see at a future date.

Well, why wait, when you can speculate? Here’s who they played (it was only 11 bands in the end), and how we rate their chances:

They have a gap in their tour schedule from 4 July to 10 July, when they resume in Cardiff, so they’re in the country. An excellent shout for both T in the Park and Sonisphere, in our books.

Van Halen
Their mammoth US Tour finishes at the end of June – just in time for Sonisphere? They’re not exactly regular visitors to the UK, and Sweden Rock Festival’s Facebook states “Van Halen will not come to Europe” this year. Rumours persist though, especially with Metal Hammer saying they’ve heard there’s “two big classic rock headliners” this year, so it could be them and…

They confirmed on The One Show, of all places, that they plan to tour the UK sometime this year. A popular rumour online too, with many wanting a show on the scale of the bands last UK appearance at Download in 2008.

Lots of new songs springing up as they recover from the Farro brothers’ departure, so a return to the UK could be on. Maybe they’re not quite big enough to headline, but would fit nicely subbing Blink, as they did at Reading & Leeds in 2010.

It’s been a while since they’ve been over here, so it’d definitely be a welcome return. The band are currently on a US tour, so maybe they’d be in the mood for festival dates, but with no new album just yet, and side-project Puscifer taking up a lot of Maynard James Keenan’s time of late, perhaps we’ll have to wait until 2013.

Rage Against The Machine
Despite a few Tom Morello hints, there’s no new material on the horizon, but there’s a huge clamour for them to play nonetheless. No surprise, given that few can match the righteous fury of Rage live. They certainly can’t be ruled out at this stage.

Could they be the other ‘classic rock’ headliner if Van Halen aren’t coming over? There’s no UK dates announced for the prog legends as things stand, but nothing to suggest they couldn’t do it either.

Avenged Sevenfold
Were mooted to be over to the UK this year, but it doesn’t look like happening, at least not in time for the festivals. The band’s manager stated on Twitter the other day that talk of headlining Sonisphere is “not true.

Foo Fighters
There’s definitely talk of a UK festival appearance for Dave and co., and with headline spots still vacant at V, R & L and Soni, no doubt they’re on the radar of all three. Mentioned by Sonisphere organiser Stuart Galbraith as being on their list of potential headliners, it could happen, but we just can’t shake the feeling that they’re off to Reading & Leeds.

Faith No More
Looked like wishful thinking at first, but rumours have been fuelled further after a French radio station apparently leaked them as playing Sonisphere France, which is on the same weekend as Sonisphere UK. The messageboards are loving this.

Iron Maiden
There’s a new live album, ‘En Vivo!’ out in March, lest anyone’s forgotten what an amazing spectacle Maiden are onstage. Maybe they’ll want to remind us properly, but it’s more likely that we won’t see them again until the next album’s out.


The higher up this list the band appears, the more times they’ve been mentioned around the web. Where acts have been referenced an equal amount of times, they are ordered in suitability and the likelihood of them appearing.

There’s UK dates in February, and a probable tug-of-war between Sonisphere and Reading & Leeds Festivals for their summer signature. Whoever has the biggest pyro budget wins?

Coal Chamber
They’ve reformed to play Soundwave in Australia, are they really going to leave it there? Demand is such that we think not.

Motley Crue
Reportedly planning a tour with KISS, will they be their subheadliners?

The UK rock festival favourites would be a big draw, enough to convince Benji to bring back the silver suit for another airing perhaps.

Green Day
A festival? With GD? It’s my nail and your coffin pal…” Billie Joe hasn’t tweeted for a bit, but he did say this not so long ago. They’re working on new material at the moment, so how about a long-awaited festival appearance either as an album preview or to coincide with its release? The perennial Reading rumours abound again, but don’t be surprised if they hold off the UK fests altogether for another year.

Killswitch Engage
A Metal Hammer podcast said they’d be playing Sonisphere this year, so they’d been regarded as being nailed on for the festival for some time. But now singer Howard has quit the band, which could complicate things a bit. The rest of the band are vowing to carry on, so maybe they’ll still make it.


A Day To Remember
Simple Plan
Within Temptation
Linkin Park
Smashing Pumpkins
Black Stone Cherry
Marilyn Manson
Billy Talent
The Offspring
Enter Shikari
Kids In Glass Houses
System Of A Down
At The Drive-In
Knife Party
Queen with Adam Lambert


Black Sabbath/Ozzy Osbourne
Machine Head
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Def Leppard
Guns N’ Roses
The Prodigy

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