LONDON, England - Just two weeks after the shock cancellation of Sonisphere 2012 where they were due to headline with singer Adam Lambert, rock band Queen has announced they are to go ahead with a UK concert appearance this summer after all.
The band today announced that the highly anticipated pairing of Queen and Lambert will instead take place at London's HMV Hammersmith Apollo over two nights, July 11 and 12.
In the announcement the band also promised to endeavour to give priority booking to those who had held tickets for their Knebworth concert.
Tickets will go on sale next week, first to Queen fans and Sonisphere ticket holders and then on general sale.
Says a band spokesperson, "Queen acted immediately in looking for an alternative venue in an aim to avoid disappointing all those fans who had so desperately looked forward to seeing them at Knebworth.
Coming in the lead into the Olympics, most of the venues they first approached were unavailable, being taken as official London Games 2012 venues. As the setting of some of the band's best remembered concerts, the idea of returning to this historic Hammersmith venue really appealed to them."
Said Brian May: "Somehow this feels right - The Odeon is a big part of our history, and its atmosphere is second to none. It's the perfect place to acknowledge our faithful fans, and will be a fitting return to our roots!"
Roger Taylor adds: "We had made up our minds to play in the UK this year, so play we will ! Following the collapse of the Sonisphere organisation we didn't want to let down all those people expecting to see us live!"
Speaking from the US, Adam Lambert said: "I'm so thrilled that Queen found a way to ensure that the fans will get to see this event this summer. I can't wait to be in London to perform with Queen for these incredibly special shows!"
Originally known as the Hammersmith Odeon, the venue was the scene of four sold-out Queen concerts in late November/early December 1975, as well as a special Christmas Eve show; and the band returned for a triumphant end-of-tour show in December 1979, playing the opening night of a series of UNICEF concerts for the people of Kampuchea.
Amongst fans, the Hammersmith shows continue to be regarded as some of Queen's most exceptional.
Broadcast live on national radio and TV, the Christmas show has become one of the most heavily bootlegged in the band's career, and an edited version of the show has been recently shown by the BBC. But a high quality official release DVD is now planned, unedited, which will include the audio of all of the songs which were not originally transmitted on TV.
Tickets for Queen + Adam Lambert concerts at HMV Hammersmith Apollo on Wednesday July 11 and Thursday July 12 will first be available on a 24-hour presale to Queen Online subscribers, Queen Fan Club members and Sonisphere ticket holders from 9am on Tuesday April 17. Pre-sale details will be sent on to these communities separately via e-mail.
General sales start Wednesday 18th April at 9am at http://www.hmvapollo.net