ORGANISERS of the 2012 Sonisphere Festival are “heartbroken” at having to cancel this summer’s Knebworth Park rock event.

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Promoters Kilimanjaro Live last month axed the three-day music festival due to take place in the grounds of Knebworth House from Friday, July 6 to Sunday, July 8.

Rock legends Queen with Adam Lambert, Kiss and Faith No More were set to headline the fourth Sonisphere at the historic Hertfordshire stately home.

A tweet on the Sonisphere Twitter page said: “Sonisphere Knebworth is Cancelled - everybody is currently being refunded and we are gutted.”

Poor ticket sales was a factor behind the shock cancellation just weeks after finally announcing the 2012 line-up, but not the sole reason for pulling the festival.

An official statement released on the Sonisphere website said: “Putting the festival together in what is proving to be a very challenging year was more difficult than we anticipated, and we have spent the last few months fighting hard to keep Sonisphere in the calendar.

“Unfortunately circumstances have dictated that we would be unable to run the festival to a standard that both the artists and that Sonisphere’s audience would rightly expect.”

On Sonisphere’s official forums, festival manager Zac Fox posted: “I thought I would just drop by and say personally how sorry we are that this has happened.

“I know it is frustrating when we don’t tell you what is going on or answer all your questions but believe me that only happens when we have no choice because of a number of factors outside of our control.”

She continued: “We appreciate every word said in support of this festival and everyone who has bought a ticket and come along to any of the years we have run.

“We are all heartbroken here but unfortunately there was no other choice but to cancel.

“If I was able to give you all the reasons behind it then I don’t think a single one of you would disagree that it was the right decision.”

As well as the three planned headliners, the likes of Marilyn Manson, The Darkness, Evanescence, Cyprus Hill, Refused, Andrew W.K., Wolfmother, Mastodon, Incubus and comedian Tim Minchin were all due to play Knebworth over the course of the weekend.

The touring festival’s 2012 European dates in Poland, Spain, Switzerland, Finland and France are still taking place this summer.

St Albans group Enter Shikari have been confirmed for Sonisphere Spain next month, playing alongside Metallica and Soundgarden.

There has been no official word yet from organisers whether Sonisphere will return to Knebworth in 2013.

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