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A Sonisphere Festival Friday!

Knebworth Park, Stevenage, Hertfordshire SG1 2AX, UK
Being the free spirits that we are, Rhian and I decided to book last minute day tickets to the Friday of Knebworth Park's Sonisphere Festival. We don't live far away and it was so, so nice to be able to flop into my own bed at the end of the night instead of trying to keep warm and worrying that someone might be peeing up the side of our tent. We're Download fest regulars but I couldn't go because it was mine and Mat's moving weekend! This went some way to making up for it. Here's what we saw:

So the day obviously couldn't begin until we'd been to the Hall's Dorset Smokery stand. These guys seem to be at every major festival across the UK and make everything from smoked salmon bagels to steak sarnies cooked to order. I got myself a brie and bacon bap and let me tell you it was worth queuing for.

I cannot believe how lucky we were with the weather! It was sun cream all round - your average rock festival clientèle don't do sunbathing. We saw some seriously red skin by the end of the day but thankfully we came prepared.

Gary Numan

Kicking the day of were UK rising stars The Defiled. I've had a glimpse of their live prowess before but seeing them open the festival was great. It makes sense that a kickass British band would open Sonisphere after it's brief hiatus due to dwindling ticket sales and the ongoing struggle to book headliners that offer something different to rival festival Download.

Following on from this were Anti-Flag. Their performances are always pumped full of energy and this was no exception. Even though their lyrics are highly political and pretty darn angry, the band were so happy to be there and so kind to the audience that positive vibes and unity were rife. If you've never given punk/pop punk a try these guys are a great place to start. Check out their most popular tunes on Last FM - they always get me bouncing around! Gary Numan was also a pleasant surprise. His stuff is pretty niche with lots of electronic sounds thrown in but is pretty catchy and had everyone grooving. He also played Cars for an awesome 80s throwback.

We then had a little wait before the other bands we wanted to see so attempted to find some "shade" behind a barrier. I burnt my scalp and as you can see my hair is not happy from all the sun it's been having - a sign to invest in a hat? Outfit wise I went for a New Look tartan dress teamed with my trusty Primark sunnies and some leopard print wellies purchased from a festival stall in a muddy moment of crisis many moons ago. Gotta keep it simple in the heat!

The best shade we found ended up being behind a line of balding men in their mid-thirties who kept asking me to get on their shoulders and spilling dribbles of beer on our heads. Good job beer is good for the hair! 

We also briefly dropped in on Bam Margera's Fuckface Unstoppable who were playing in one of the tents. It was interesting. There were unexpected testicles. We'll leave that there.


When our music viewing resumed it was time for some teenage nostalgia with the ever dark and gorgeous HIM The Finnish rockers are really on their game lately, since frontman Ville Valo overcame his drinking and smoking problems and serious illness a few years back. I must say it's nice when artists remember the words to their songs and remain upright for the performance. So many rockers get too out of it to give a good show. The band looked absolutely in awe of the huge turnout and it became a real sing-along for us all.

Limp Bizkit

Oh Limp Bizkit, how I love thee. Whether your into metal, pop, rap or otherwise this band have a tune for everyone's taste. The set was typical of past festival offerings, with their greatest hits and classic covers fired off with absolute precision. They transformed the festival into one big party and we all sang our hearts out while the sun went down. My weird crush on Fred Durst is also still going strong.

The Prodigy

The headline slot fell to one of the most established non-metal British bands out there, The Prodigy. Aggressive, powerful and inventive, the band revelled in the moment, interacting with the crowd and giving a seriously brilliant strobe light display as per usual. I saw them a couple of years ago and I would say it was on par - their rockin' brand of hardcore techno big beat wonderfulness is still going strong. With the promise of new material in the works we'll hopefully see a sixth studio album soon!

The Prodigy's awesome lighting!

We had an awesome day. It was nice to visit a festival just for the day, and to do it with my oldest friend and longterm festival buddy Rhian who is buggering off to university in a couple of months! 

Are you going to any festivals this summer? Have you been already? Let me know in the comments!

All band images taken from the official Sonisphere Facebook page because little iPhones cannot cope with sunset lighting conditions and uberzoom.

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