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Slipknot began its return last summer with a European tour, continued it earlier this year with jaunts through Australia and South America, and will now complete it this summer with a headlining slot on the Rockstar Energy Mayhem Tour. The icing on the cake will be Knotfest, two festival dates put together by the band itself on August 17th in Council Bluffs, Iowa and August 18th in Somerset, Wisconsin. Percussionist Shawn "Clown" Crahan told us that the Knotfest idea has been around for a long time: "We wanted to do it from the very, very beginning, but we accepted that there was a lot of things we wanted to accomplish for ourselves. And we figure, right before we take a little hiatus and get ourselves together for this next record, which is gonna be phenomenal, that we would end it with two shows called Knotfest. So we're very excited, and we're gonna bring rock 'n' roll back to some kind of level of conceptual thinking, and we know everybody's gonna have a blast."

In addition to the headliners, both days will include sets from Deftones, Lamb Of God, Dethklok, Serj Tankian and Prong.

Also playing at the Iowa show will be the Urge and Dirtfedd, while the Wisconsin show will also feature Cannibal Corpse, Gojira and the Dillinger Escape Plan.

Knotfestis being positioned as a "dark carnival experience," and the event will feature circus tents, pillars of fire, amusement park rides, burlesque performers, fire-breathers, stilt walkers, drum circles made of junkyard cars, graffiti walls and even a Slipknot museum.

The festival will mark the end of a two-year grieving period for the band following the May 2010 death of bassist Paul Grayfrom an overdose of drugs. 

Slipknot will tentatively enter the studio sometime in early 2013 to begin recording its fifth album. In the meantime, a greatest hits collection called Antennas To Hell arrives on July 24th.

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