One thing I love about festivals getting closer is every time we learn something more about the festival, excitement increases. When I see what bands are playing what stages, I start to make a plan in my head of who I want to see, and who I don’t. One thing I always try to do, amazingly unsuccessfully each time is guess clashes. When the stage times do get released, I plan to the best of my ability what I’ll see and where I’ll see it. I did this for Download and planned to see 16 bands. I didn’t quite see that many but that was due to the size of the arena. Fuck, that was a lot of walking between stages. That won’t be an issue at Sonisphere as the arena is really awesomely laid out so hopefully the plan I have made won’t change too much. The stage times have been announced and along with that, came the last few bands. One major shitter was that One Minute Silence pulled out. I was gutted about that and wondered if there would be a good announcement. And there is one – Ginger Wildheart has been announced in that slot. That is literally (for me anyway) an amazing announcement. I’m seeing Ginger in December at least once, but I cannot wait to see him at Sonisphere. AND! He clashes with The Mars Volta so it’s not like I’m missing a good band! That might get me some shit, but I don’t like them. It’s like Skunk Anansie. People go nuts over them and I just don’t like them. Oh well! This is my plan for Sonisphere.
THURSDAY: Arrive, set up tent. Go and pick up festival shirt from the merchandise market. Possibly nip into Stevenage and buy some beer. Drink said beer. Fairly simple day this one!
FRIDAY: The music for me doesn’t start until 3 in the afternoon or so, which is why I might delay beer buying until the Friday morning. This would make more sense as I’ll have a few hours to kill, and will probably want a Wetherspoons breakfast. I will probably be watching all the Apollo stage bands. I was considering moving about and missing some of the acts, but this day was the main thing which sold me a ticket. After all, it is the Big Fucking Four! Diamond Head will be interesting I think but I don’t know a great deal about them aside from Am I Evil? After Metallica have finished, it’s off to the bohemia stage for Killing Joke and definitely Hayseed Dixie. Music running until 1.30 in the morning is awesome, especially at a UK festival where it has to end usually around 11.
SATURDAY: The 2nd day of music for me kicks off at early doors, watching Sylosis and then all the bands on the main stages until Cavalera Conspiracy. After them, I will nip off to the Jagermeister stage for Panic Cell. Back to the main stages for Bad Religion and Sum 41, then off to the Red Bull stage to watch Revoker. Don’t know an awful lot by them but listening on Spotify suggests good things and to be perfectly honest, they have to be better than You Me At Six! It is then visiting Bohemia for Pulled Apart By Horses and heading back to the main stages for All Time Low and Weezer. I wouldn’t normally want to cut Weezer’s set short, but I will be doing so to get a spot in the tent for Ginger and staying there for Gojira. After a slight music break, I’ll be heading off to the Red Bull stage to take in some black metal in the form of Watain and finish the day off with a bit of Black Spiders. I said a while ago that if something better than Biffy Clyro is on, I will go and watch it. I can’t say for sure whether these bands are better than Biffy or not, but considering I will be seeing Biffy support Foo Fighters, I am not really interested in seeing them play again for 30mins longer.
SUNDAY: Sunday starts off in an awesome way – Volbeat opening the main stage. It is the main stages until after House of Pain then it is off to the Bohemia stage for some Kylesa, InMe and then some comedy. Jason John Whitehead and Jason Rouse seem pretty funny. I will be leaving towards the end of Jason Rouse to catch Airbourne and then heading off to catch Motorhead. What an amazing back to back selection of bands. After that, it is back to the tent for Cancer Bats and Alestorm. Now, this does mean missing Limp Bizkit, but that’s alright because they weren’t amazing in 2009, and their new album isn’t anything special either. Then, it is the mother of all bastards when it comes to clashes. I had been getting away with clashes all weekend and then BANG! Bill Bailey is clashing with Fozzy. What a horrible, nasty, vicious clash. Damn you Sonisphere bookers! (I mean that in the nicest way as they have in fact booked an amazing lineup). I honestly cannot decide what to do. I’ve seen Bill Bailey before, so I am tempted to go and see Fozzy based on that alone. However, it goes without saying that this gig will not be like others when it comes to Bill Bailey. I do want to see Fozzy though, and they are in London the weekend after Sonisphere (final date of their European tour as it happens). I think I will make a decision tomorrow based on that, but just know, it is a nasty decision to make. Of course the main stage headliner that day will be watched which is Slipknot. Their setlists haven’t been amazing this time out. I would have hoped for My Plague, Gematria, I Am Hated, Get This and others. One song off the latest album as well. I know I should be grateful that we even have Slipknot and indeed I am.
MONDAY: Go home :(
That is my Sonisphere in a nutshell at the moment. Of course this will change based on any number of different things that could occur. I cannot wait though to finally get there, get set up and be back at Knebworth. It is going to be a good one.
Was that too long? Well based on what I normally write, probably not. Here is a list of the bands I intend to see, with their times and stages as well. Isn’t that helpful of me? Oh, not really...
Friday Diamond Head 15.15-15.45 Apollo
Friday Anthrax 16.00-16.45 Apollo
Friday Megadeth 17.15-18.15 Apollo
Friday Slayer 18.45-19.45 Apollo
Friday Metallica 20.30-22.30 Apollo
Friday Killing Joke 23.00-00.00 Bohemia
Friday Hayseed Dixie 00.30-01.30 Bohemia
Saturday Sylosis 11.00-11.30 Apollo
Saturday Richard Cheese 11.35-12.05 Saturn
Saturday Architects 12.10-12.40 Apollo
Saturday Gallows 12.45-13.20 Saturn
Saturday Cavalera Conspiracy 13.25-14.10 Apollo
Saturday Panic Cell 14.00-14.30 Jagermeister
Saturday Bad Religion 15.00-15.45 Apollo
Saturday Sum 41 15.50-16.30 Saturn
Saturday Revoker 16.30-17.00 Red Bull
Saturday Pulled Apart By Horses 17.20-17.50 Bohemia
Saturday All Time Low 17.40-18.25 Saturn
Saturday Weezer 18.30-19.30 Apollo
Saturday Ginger Wildheart 19.25-20.15 Bohemia
Saturday Gojira 20.30-21.15 Bohemia
Saturday Watain 21.45-22.30 Red Bull
Saturday Black Spiders 22.15-23.00 Jagermeister
Sunday Volbeat 11.00-11.30 Apollo
Sunday Black Tide 11.35-12.05 Saturn
Sunday Arch Enemy 12.10-12.40 Apollo
Sunday House of Pain 12.45-13.15 Saturn
Sunday Kylesa 13.20-13.50 Bohemia
Sunday InMe 14.10-14.40 Bohemia
Sunday Jason John Whitehead 15.00-15.25 Bohemia
Sunday Jason Rouse 15.25-15.55 Bohemia
Sunday Airbourne 15.55-16.40 Saturn
Sunday Motorhead 16.45-17.45 Apollo
Sunday Cancer Bats 18.10-18.50 Bohemia
Sunday Alestorm 19.10-19.40 Bohemia
Sunday Fozzy 20.00-20.45 Jagermeister
Sunday Slipknot 21.00-22.30 Apollo