Sonisphere involved in return to Knebworth

November 13, 2013

knebworth2014Organisers of the travelling Sonisphere festival have said they’ll be involved in an event to mark 40 years since the first open-air rock extravaganza at Knebworth Park.

The Sonisphere series launched there in 2009 and took place over summer weekends for the following two years, but it was cancelled in 2012 and no event took place in 2013 either.

Now the festival website has announced an event at the historic estate during July 4-6 next year, billed as “celebrating 40 years of festivals at Knebworth”, rather than as Sonisphere.

Yesterday the firm’s Twitter account posted two tweets, the first saying: “Being called into a meeting. Either I am being let go or something is afoot”. It was followed by: “Keep the 4th-6th July 2014 free! Planning a festival to celebrate 40 years of rock music at Knebworth.”

The first event at Knebworth back in 1974 was billed as The Bucolic Frolic and saw 60,000 fans entertained by the Allman Brothers Band, Van Morrison, the Doobie Brothers, the Mahavishnu Orchestra, the Sensational Alex Harvey Band and Tim Buckley.

In 1975 Pink Floyd played to 80,000 people, and the Rolling Stones, Genesis, Frank Zappa, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple in following years played there in following years. Queen played their last show with Freddie Mercury at Knebworth in 1986.

Estate owner Henry Lytton Cobbold said earlier this year: “I do hope we can pull a big rock show out of the bag for our 40th anniversary.

“At the end of the day there are only so many bands that can do Knebworth; unless you’re going to pull 80,000 you’re better off doing a football stadium in London.”

He added: “KiliLive are talking of bringing Sonisphere back, but would be nice to do a headline show.”

-Classic Rock

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