Rock legends Metallica are to headline a brand new touring rock festival this summer, it has been announced.

Sonisphere, created by the minds behind the Monsters of Rock and Download festivals, will tour Europe through June and July before concluding at the legendary Knebworth House in Hertfordshire.

"We're stoked to be touring England and Europe with Sonisphere," said Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich.

"Summer festivals in Europe are what Metallica do best. We can't wait to see all of our fans over there."

The likes of Slipknot and Die Toten Hosen have also been confirmed for dates on the Sonisphere tour while nu-metal act Linkin Park will headline a show at Knebworth on August 1st.

The full lineup is to be announced over the coming weeks, with musical surprises expected.

Sonisphere will involve bands performing on two alternate stages, meaning fans will not have to miss any shows, and will also feature the usual festival instalments, including stalls, funfairs, jugglers and fire eaters.

John Jackson, creator of the Sonisphere festival creator, commented: "I am delighted that my vision of a truly global touring festival has become a reality."

He continued: "To launch at Knebworth, where I attended the first show there in 1974 headlined by US legends the Allman Brothers Band, is a dream come true."

The first-ever Sonisphere will mark 35 years since the first ever rock show at Knebworth and comes as Donington Park's traditional infield arena being dug up and converted into an F1 venue for the British grand prix.

The full European dates of Sonisphere are: (All dates feature Metallica, except August 1st)

Sat June 20th - Goffert Park, Nijmegen, Holland (with Slipknot) on sale Feb 13th

Sat July 4th - Hockenheim, Germany (with Die Toten Hosen) on sale Feb 14th
Sat July 11th - The Forum, Barcelona Spain (with Slipknot) on sale Feb 16th
Sat July 18th - Folkets Park, Hultsfred, Sweden (TBC) on sale in a fortnight
Sat July 25th - Kirjurinluoto, Pori, Finland (with Linkin Park) on sale Feb 16th

Sat August 1st -Knebworth House, Stevenage, UK (with Linkin Park headlining) on sale Feb 11th
Sun August 2nd - Knebworth House, Stevenage, UK (with Metallica headlining) on sale Feb 11th

10/02/2009 00:01:01