Slipknot and Biffy Clyro headline Sonisphere festival

Simon Neil from Biffy Clyro

Slipknot, Biffy Clyro and Metallica have headlined this year's Sonisphere festival held in the grounds of Knebworth House in Hertfordshire.

60,000 fans watched the bands at this year's three-day event.

Now in its third year, the festival also saw appearances from the likes of Limp Bizkit, Weezer, All Time Low, Kids in Glass Houses and You Me At Six.

Two minutes silence was held across the site on Sunday afternoon in memory of former Slipknot bassist Paul Gray.

The 38-year-old died of an accidental morphine overdose last May.

The band played their only UK concert of 2011 at Sonisphere and thanked the crowd for paying tribute to their former bandmate.

Lead singer Corey Taylor said: "This is not a night for negativity, it's a night for positivity. It's a celebration."

Downpours

Saturday night was headlined by Kilmarnock rockers Biffy Clyro, who won over the metal audience with a set that included chart hits Many of Horror and That Golden Rule.

They rounded off a typically energetic performance with Mountains and played the opening riff of a Slayer track.

Festival organiser Stuart Galbraith defended the band's headline slot, saying the Saturday had a softer rock edge to it.

"We've always made a point of describing Sonisphere as a rock festival," he said. "It's great that we have metal, it's great that we have thrash but we've always said we're a rock festival.

"We would welcome bands of the genre of Biffy at Knebworth any day."

On the main stage before Biffy Clyro, US emo band Weezer played a crowd-friendly set including hits like Beverly Hills, Buddy Holly and a cover of Wheatus track Teenage Dirtbag.

All Time Low, You Me At Six and Kids in Glass Houses all played through heavy rain.

Sell-out

The main attraction on Friday was "The Big Four", made up of 80s thrash veterans Anthrax, Megadeth, Slayer and headliners Metallica.

Sonisphere is a touring festival and has visited 12 countries this year including Spain, Sweden, Poland and France.

Kirk Hammett and James Hetfield from Metallica
Metallica played ahead of Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax on Friday

Next year's UK event will again take place at Knebworth House between 6-8 July.

A limited number of "early bird tickets" going on sale on Wednesday (13 July) at this year's prices.

The festival was a sell-out for the first time this year.

Festival organiser Stuart Galbraith confirmed that the capacity would stay at 60,000 and revealed they were already talking to possible headliners for the 2012 festival including Foo Fighters and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

"They're two that we're talking to among a whole list of others," he said. "But it characterises the type of band that we're happy to have. We want to be as broad as we possibly can."