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THE 2011 Sonisphere Festival day splits for Knebworth House have become much clearer following the latest bands announcement.

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Sonisphere Festival 2011: Sunday, July 10

Apollo stage headliner: Slipknot

Limp Bizkit

Motörhead

Mastodon

Opeth

Airbourne

In Flames

Parkway Drive

Arch Enemy

House of Pain

Volbeat

Black Tide

The European touring festival pitches up at the Hertfordshire stately home from Friday, July 8 to Sunday, July 10.

Another dozen groups – ranging from Grammy Award winning Latin-American infused psychedelic prog rockers The Mars Volta to Swedish death metal masters Opeth – were confirmed earlier this month for the three-day rock event.

And festival-goers now have a good idea who is playing when, judging by the latest publicity poster for the UK leg of the camping festival.

The Mars Volta – formed out of the ashes of El Paso post-hardcore band At The Drive-In – will be making a rare UK appearance on the Saturday night as Saturn stage headliners.

Sonisphere Festival 2011: Saturday, July 9

Apollo stage headliner: Biffy Clyro

Weezer

Saturn stage headliner: The Mars Volta

You Me at Six

All Time Low

Sum 41

Kids in Glass Houses

Gallows

Architects

Straight off the back of completing their sixth, as-yet-untitled, studio album, the critically acclaimed group will play their only UK show of 2011 just before Scottish rockers Biffy Clyro take to Apollo to close the night’s main outdoor stage proceedings.

Guitarist Omar Rodríguez-López said: “We’re stoked to come and play.

“Everything I’ve heard about the festival has been positive, I’m sure it’ll be great. Playing live for me is the best part of being in a band.

“I can’t wait to get back out there. I’m excited to play the new songs.”

Also playing Knebworth on the Saturday are American geek rockers Weezer, You Me at Six, All Time Low, Sum 41, Kids in Glass Houses, Watford hardcore punks Gallows and Architects.

Like The Mars Volta, Sweden’s Opeth will be making their UK Sonisphere debut at Knebworth.

Having formed more than 20 years ago, the group have pushed the musical boundaries of a number of genres by seamlessly incorporating elements of prog, folk, experimental jazz and classic rock with a style firmly rooted in Scandinavian death metal.

They will play the closing Sunday alongside the likes of Apollo headliners Slipknot, special guests Limp Bizkit, Motörhead, Mastodon, Airbourne, In Flames, Parkway Drive, Arch Enemy, House of Pain, Black Tide and Volbeat.

Sonisphere Festival 2011: Friday, July 8

Metallica

Slayer

Megadeth

Anthrax

Diamond Head

Bohemia stage: Killing Joke

The Saturn second stage headliner will be comedian Bill Bailey.

Opeth frontman Mikael Åkerfeldt said: “We’re chuffed about the invite to play Sonisphere in the UK. Not sure who else is on the bill, but I guess that info is just a click away.

“Regardless, we’re coming to play to you, first and foremost and anything else wouldn’t matter at the end of the day. Always loved playing to the UK crowds, and I’m sure this gig will be no exception. See you there!”

One of the big Sunday attractions in the Bohemia tent will be hirsute American pop-punk band Four Year Strong, who played the Slam Dunk Festival in Hatfield last year.

Returning to the UK after a main support slot on the Kerrang! Relentless Tour, the Massachusetts easycore quintet skilfully blend melodic hardcore and screamo vocals with power pop synths and numerous nods to 90s pop-culture.

Guitarist and vocalist Dan O’Connor said: “I’m so stoked to play Sonisphere, great line-up of bands to be a part of.

“I’m excited to play for an amazing fest in an amazing country.”

As previously reported in the Welwyn Hatfield Times, the Friday will be devoted to thrash metal’s Big 4 – Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax – playing in the UK on the same bill for the first time ever.

For ticket details, the full line-up and more info go to www.sonispherefestivals.com

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