Long gone are the days when big music festivals are seen as the ideological Woodstock style music lovin’ gatherings. In our age of mass consumption festivals are brands and if there was a rock music event that people know and trust it’s Sonisphere.

Given its relative young age and the sharp growth spurt it’s had since it began in 2009 the fact you can confidently vouch for its trustworthiness is impressive to say the least.

In its inaugural year the festival ran throughout six countries including the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Finland and the UK.

The festival continued in 2010 and 2011 adding Poland, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, Spain, Italy and Romania to the list of countries it featured in.

Clearly the partnership between John Jackson and entertainment company Kilimanjaro Live was paying massive dividends.

Their ability to book the heavy metal heavyweights such as Iron Maiden, Metallica, Mötley Crüe, Slayer and Megadeth has obviously fuelled Europe’s trust in this event’s capacity to run a rock music event.

While the event took a break in 2013 it returns in 2014 to the UK and Germany. There is talk that Sonisphere will extend its reach outside of Europe and increase its UK capacity from a mere 40,000 punters to 60,000.

Regardless of which country it’s situated in, the people behind Sonisphere know the formula for a great rock music event.

Its focus in 2014 on a bigger UK event will only pay greater dividends for fans heading to this particular edition.

Read on to find all the necessary information to get yourself there!


Sure the headlining heroes of The Prodigy and Iron Maiden alone is enough to warrant a fair amount of interest in Sonisphere 2014, but the big talking point is the inclusion of American heavy metal legends Metallica to the bill. It’s not so much just their inclusion that has fans excited, but that fact that the set list will be chosen by the fans. Those who purchase tickets online will get to have their vote on what 18 songs they think should make it out of the 140 or so songs they’ve recorded to date.

Then again if you’re not a Metallica fan Limp Bizkit, Deftones, Alice In Chains, HIM (their only UK show in 2014), Frank Turner and Mastodon might tickle your fancy.

As well as those big names Australian acts Karnivool, Airbourne, and Calling All Cars will feature just as Slayer, Dropkick Murphys and Reel Big Fish are likely to draw big crowds.

Where And When

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This rock music event takes place at the grounds of the Knebworth House in Knebworth and runs from the 4th to the 6th of July.

How To Get There

Knebworth is only a stones throw away from Heathrow (aprox 30 miles) and while most punters will probably make their way via the capital first getting to the festival is barely a chore.

But first things first; flights.You can fly to London with just about any major airline and the following are a list of estimated return airfares that were available at the time of writing.

Adelaide: One-stop journeys are worth upwards of $2600, while two-stop flights will set you back around $2500.

Brisbane: One-stop journeys are worth upwards of $2500, while two-stop flights will set you back around $2000.

Melbourne: One-stop journeys are worth upwards of $2100, while two-stop flights will set you back around $2000.

Perth: One-stop journeys are worth upwards of $2100, while two-stop flights will set you back around $2000.

Sydney: One-stop journeys are worth upwards of $2100, while two-stop flights will set you back around $2100.

From London ticket holders can either choose between rail and coach public transport wise.

The festival partners with Big Green Coach and National Express for all your coach needs. They both offer routes from all over England and run direct to the festival site.

Otherwise you can catch the underground from Heathrow to London Kings Cross and from there take an Inter-City connection to Stevenage which is the closest station to the festival site. From there you can catch either a shuttle bus or a cab (worth around £6 if you can grab a hold of one) or pay £8 for a shuttle bus wristband, which gives you unlimited use to the service.

Where To Stay

Just like a lot of the UK and European festivals in 2014 Sonisphere offers a plethora of camping options from several different glamping companies.

The General Campsite has all the necessities. Toilets, a 24 hour breakfast café (because bacon is a round the clock necessity) and other food stalls, a bar selling slabs (key word) of alcohol and a 24 hour supermarket are all featured at the campsite. Showers are available, but be prepared to fork out some $$ for this one. You can also pre book tents for between two and six people through Halfords if you don’t want lag a bunch gear from the other side of the world.

We more than understand that if punters need silence after a long day of fist pumping, toe-tappin’ rock ferocities. The Quiet Campsite is for those who probably don’t have ‘part-ay’ priorities. If you make the mistake of being boisterous here you will be kicked out.

A campervan option is included here, although that’s probably less relevant for international travellers. However the Rock Royalty Campsite could be an option for those with some extra cash in their pockets. It’s Sonisphere’s ‘glamping’ option.  You can hire podpads, tipis or cosy cubes. You can also set up your own tent to your individual luxury needs if you require the extra space.

How To Get Tickets

When you head to the ticket page you’ll find a number of options and add ons. You can purchase your Shuttle pass here and lockers are also valued at £8. Weekend tickets though will set you back £215 with booking fee included.

For day tickets it’ll cost you £84.75 for Saturday or Sunday, while the Friday is valued at the slightly lower price of £63.25.

To purchase a weekend pass alongside the Quiet Camping option, a weekend only pass and luxury options follow the relevant links.

Insider Tips & Tricks/Things You Shouldn’t Miss

Between the 3rd of July and the 7th of July punters can get their entertainment needs (aside from the acts that got you there) from this area which is open 24 hours until 3am on the 7th. It has everything from its own tent stage, funfair rides, market stalls, cafes, a bar, food stalls, a medical tent, information and lost property.

Getting decent food at a festival is becoming less and less of a rarity and more of a facet of festivals that we’ve come to expect. The most important thing you need to know about the food here is that vegetarian, vegan and gluten free grub is all for sale throughout the grounds including the General Campsite.

But since we’re on the topic of food we can’t go past this post of the gourmet delights available at the festival in 2014. The headlined themed burgers (hilariously titled The Eddie, Enter Cheeseman and The Firestarter) are at the top of our list of must eats. However Fire-Grilled Salmon, The Cheese Stall, Rustic-French Grub, Proper Italian Pizza, and Inventive Eggy Bread are just some of the other food stalls worth keeping an eye out for.

Rules and rock ‘n’ roll aren’t two things that normally go together but the no flags policy at Sonisphere is a godsend. As if seeing the stage is hard enough amongst thousands of other people without adding the hindrance of flags into the mix (we’re looking at you Glastonbury). Thankfully there’s no flags allowed in the arena.

This one is common sense but just in case it slipped your mind make sure you bring gumboots. There’s enough songs about the English weather to tell you why.

There are ATMs onsite but if paying fees brings the frugal out in you you might want to take out extra cash before you go and we’d suggest you store some in your locker for safe keeping throughout the weekend. 

For more details head to the official Sonisphere website

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