Maiden, Slayer Confirmed For Soundwave

Iron Maiden will headline a staggering 50-act bill for the hard rock Soundwave festival, which will touch down in five major Australian cities Feb. 26 to March 7.

The act sold 70,000 tickets when it toured in 2008 for rival promoter Dainty Consolidated Entertainment after a 15-year absence downunder. About 40,000 tickets went in the first hour.

Other acts on the Soundwave 2011 bill include Slayer, Queens Of The Stone Age, Rob Zombie, Slash, Primus, Avenged Sevenfold, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Gang of Four, Pennywise and Sum 41.

Promoter AJ Maddah’s elaborate strategy had been to announce acts one band per week since June through Twitter and national youth radio network triple j’s hard rock program “Short Fast Loud.”

The idea was to give each act a share of the spotlight.

The bulk of the bill, including Iron Maiden, was to be announced at midnight Aug. 5. But someone leaked it by posting a camera phone pic of the final festival poster on the Net.

Soundwave has since issued online challenges, like cover art puzzles and code words for guestlist members to uncover more bands and win prizes.