British hard rock music festival Sonisphere announced its cancellation on Thursday, ending hopes that the beleaguered fest could pull together the necessary preparations in time for the July 6-8th run.
The festival, set to take place at a country estate in southern England, was due to host headliners Queen, Kiss, Incubus, Refused, Marilyn Manson, Cypress Hill and Faith No More alongside a barrage of other acts.
"It is with very heavy hearts and much regret that we announce the cancellation of Sonisphere Knebworth 2012," the Sonisphere organisers said in a statement on their website.
"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."
The festival at Knebworth Park, which has been hosting music festivals since 1974, is being carefully watched by industry heads who've long worried that harsh economic conditions in Europe and declining revenues for its recorded music places too heavy a burden on the live medium. With the cancellation of Sonisphere, the illusion of a thriving live-music marketplace appears to be dissolving.
Festival organisers said all ticket holders will receive a full refund direct from their ticket agents.
"We want to express our deepest regrets to the artists and to thank all the staff, suppliers and contractors who worked so hard with us to try and pull off what has proven to be an impossible task and we know how much they share in our disappointment," they said.