Snow might be blanketing great swathes of the country right now but if rock and metal’s your thing then attention is already turning to next summer’s festival season. And with Download and Sonisphere both announcing headline acts this week things are really hotting up. Just days after System Of A Down were confirmed as the first of this year’s Download main stage headliners – reforming after a four-year hiatus – the organisers of Sonisphere have hit back with a suitably powerful riposte.

Slipknot are the first of the big Knebworth bands confirmed to play next summer. And more announcements are expected on Monday.

Slipknot said: “We’re looking forward to spending our summer in Europe. This tour is about us and our fans. It’s about celebrating the life of our brother, Paul and his legacy. The door is neither open nor closed. This tour is about burning down that door. See you this summer.”

Knebworth takes place from July 8-10 this year – a month after Download. And rock fans will now be keeping a close eye on how next summer’s High Voltage shapes up – with the classic rock/metal/prog shindig confirmed to return for a second year, also in July. Whitesnake are early contenders to headline the main stage as David Coverdale and co. prepare to return to the live scene with a new album in 2011.