Bands and fans have applauded the spectacular success of Sonisphere as it rocked Knebworth into oblivion once again and achieved sell-out status in just its second year.
Organisers were celebrating as the UK 'flagship' Sonisphere festival, at Knebworth this last weekend, sold-out during the weekend, shifting the millionth ticket to date for the touring event, which launched last year and has played across 11 European countries in 2010.
It was the icing that topped a stunningly successful cake that had boasted Iron Maiden’s only British show of the year, Rammstein’s first-ever outdoor appearance in the UK and Alice Cooper’s first festival show for nearly 30 years with 55,000 fans attending each day.
The second edition of the festival saw a euphoric atmosphere, enhanced by some glorious weather, and the whole weekend ran without any major incident whatsoever with a significant reduction in reported incidents of crime.
Iron Maiden brought the proceedings to an explosive close, with Virtual Festivals rock guru Janusz Jasinski reporting: "To see Maiden, with Bruce jumping around like someone quarter of his age, singing with a mind blowingly powerful voice was a glorious thing to see. After this performance, which featured a dedication to Dio, Maiden have secured a place in my heart as possibly the best live metal band around."
Rammstein’s outrageous stage-show the night before aside, highlights at Sonisphere UK on Saturday included even more pyrotechnics from Motley Crue, probably the heaviest set Placebo have ever played, comedian Tim Minchin’s first-ever proper rock festival, Papa Roach’s only UK appearance of the year and a pulsing, but poignant acoustic set from Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor who dedicated a song to former bandmate Paul Gray who recently passed away.
On Sunday dance-metal pioneers Pendulum created three ‘circle pits’ before In Flames joined them on stage, going one better than ragga-rockers Skindred who co-ordinated circle pits that swayed from left to right earlier in the day.
Unusually, many of the bands were vocal in their praise of the event, with Anthrax bassist Frank Bello saying: “This festival is a metal fan's dream.”
Sonisphere rolls on to Sweden and Finland this coming weekend, with Iron Maiden again leading the charge at both events. HIM also headline in Finland.