Thrash fans simply can’t afford to miss next summer’s Sonisphere festival after organisers announced the final headline acts for the 2011 event.

And the lure of the Big Four – Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax – playing on the same UK stage for the first time will surely see tickets shift like hotcakes in the next 24 hours! The big hitting quartet first came together under the Sonisphere banner in Europe last year but now they’re bringing their vast experience and expansive sound to British shores for the July 8-10 shindig.

Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich said: “As soon as the Big Four gigs started rolling across Sonisphere Festivals in Eastern Europe last summer, we all felt we were part of something special. The vibe within the bands was more than anyone had anticipated and the vibe with the fans was so next level, it completely blew our minds . . . there was no way this should not happen again!!!

“So I am beyond psyched that the first Big Four show in Western Europe will take place on the hallowed grounds of Knebworth, where so many unique and special gigs have happened over the years.”

Last summer saw the live debut of the Big Four – as this collective of thrash legends are commonly known – marking what was possibly the most significant event in the history of metal. Fans all over Europe could barely contain their excitement, as over 500,000 metalheads bore witness to the show they thought they’d never see.

But the Big Four fever did not stop at Europe, as fans the world over eagerly anticipated the possibility of seeing the historical show for themselves in their own countries. Such was the demand that a live cinecast of the Bulgarian show saw more than 130,000 people turn out to local cinemas, with reports of mosh pits breaking out in movie theatres across the globe.

The recently released DVD of the event, which features all four bands collaborating on a cover of Diamond Head’s Am I Evil as well as their individual sets, has only added fuel to the Big Four fire, with a frenzied demand for more performances in the countries not fortunate enough to play host last summer.

“There is simply no better venue for a European round two of the Big Four,” added Ulrich. “Put your dancing shoes on, this is gonna be fun!”

“Always excited to do big 4 shows,” added Slayer’s Kerry King. “Now England is in line to be devastated by this heavy metal powerhouse! Can’t fucking wait!!!”

Megadeth mainman Dave Mustaine added: “The Big Four concerts are the most important, most exciting event to happen in the history of live concerts in our genre, and perhaps the entire music industry. I am glad to be a part of this enormous celebration of thrash, speed, and good ole heavy metal!”

“Oh yeah!!!” echoed Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante. “Here we come England! The Big Four Baby! Can’t wait to get Metal Thrashing Mad for you thrashers!” Band mate Scott Ian added: “Merry early Xmas present for us… more Big Four shows!!! The shows we did together with our brothers in Metallica, Slayer and Megadeth were not only the high point of 2010, but also some of the best shows Anthrax have ever played. Getting to share this with our friends in the UK will be amazing.”

Given that 2010’s event had sold out before Iron Maiden took to the stage, and the hugely exciting headliners set for next year, Sonisphere cannot guarantee that day tickets will be available for 2011, so fans are advised to get their tickets early to ensure they don’t miss out on what is already shaping up to be the festival’s most exciting year yet.

Tickets for SONISPHERE KNEBWORTH 2011 are now on sale. Beat the VAT increase – and get your application in to become a SONISPHERE TOURIST  with your free ticket for POLAND and CZECH REPUBLIC or AUSTRIA (subject to availability) – by snapping your ticket up quickly.

SONISPHERE KNEBWORTH takes place 8th – 10th July 2011 at KNEBWORTH HOUSE. For tickets and more info go to