Sonisphere 2014: Iron Maiden and Metallica to perform their only UK shows next summer

The rock monsters will headline together for the first time in the UK

Heavy metal giants Iron Maiden and Metallica will play their only UK shows next year at Sonisphere 2014, headlining together for the first time in a British line-up.

The July event will mark 40 years of rock concerts in the legendary grounds of Hertfordshire’s Knebworth House with the return of a popular festival that has been absent for the past two years.

Both bands headlined their first ever Knebworth concerts under the Sonisphere flag and next summer’s festival will see Iron Maiden bring their Maiden England world tour to a grand finale.

Frontman Bruce Dickinson spoke of the “honour and privilege” of being asked to play and vowed to present “one hell of a show and go out with all guns blazing”. 

“We have tweaked the Maiden England set list a bit to make it more representative of our whole 80s era and to give the fans something a bit different,” he said. “If you are there on the day it is highly likely that you will hear some of these songs played live for the very last time ever.”

One of the biggest-selling and most influential rock acts of all time, Metallica, will be joining Dickinson’s band for Sonisphere.

In an effort to embrace the digital age, Lars Ulrich’s band will deliver an interactive 'Metallica By Request' set list spanning their entire career.

Fans who purchase Sonisphere tickets online will be invited to vote on the set list for which of Metallica’s 140 recorded songs they wish to hear live. The 17 most chosen songs will be played, plus an 18th brand new track picked by the band

Ulrich described the opportunity as “a somewhat humbling undertaking” and promised to play tracks chosen entirely by fans.

“Who knows what crazy challenges will be thrown our way? Maybe a song that has never been performed live before? Whatever happens it will be unique, it will be special and it’s all up to you,” he said.

Metallica’s frontman has paid tribute to co-headliners Iron Maiden, citing Dickinson’s band as “a big reason why Metallica exists in the first place”.

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