After the 3 sold out shows in the 013 venue in The Netherlands, Ayreon Universe is ready to headline the Marquee Stage on Friday, June 22 at Graspop Metal Meeting 2018. This first exclusive Ayreon festival show will be performed by the very best original Ayreon instrumentalists and vocalists, including Simone Simons and Mark Jansen from Epica, Tom Englund (Evergrey), Damian Wilson (Headspace), Tommy Karevik (Kamelot), and Anneke van Giersbergen (VUUR). And to make things extra special: none other than Barry Hay (Golden Earring) and Arjen Lucassen himself will hit the stage as well for a very special guest performance.
The 75-minute Ayreon Universe live show at Graspop will feature the very best tracks from the Ayreon albums, as well as two fan favorites from Star One. No less than 14 original Ayreon singers will be performing: special guest Barry Hay (Golden Earring), Simone Simons and Mark Jansen from Epica, Tom Englund (Evergrey), Damian Wilson (Headspace), Tommy Karevik (Kamelot), Mike Mills (Toehider), Anneke van Giersbergen (VUUR), Marcela Bovio (Stream of Passion), Irene Jansen, Robert Soeterboek (Star One), John ‘Jaycee’ Cuijpers (Praying Mantis), Maggy Luyten (Nightmare), and Lisette van den Berg (Scarlet Stories). The hand-picked band of 8 of Arjen’s favorite Ayreon instrumentalists includes Ed Warby (drums), Johan van Stratum (bass), Marcel Coenen (lead guitar), Ferry Duijsens (guitar), Joost van den Broek (keyboards), Ben Mathot (violin), Jeroen Goossens (flutes, woodwinds) and Maaike Peterse (cello).
Ayreon Universe performed live in September 2017 for the first time ever. All 3 shows at the 013 venue in Tilburg sold out within 24 hours, and 9,000 fans from 54 countries came to The Netherlands to join Arjen in this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Only 6 months after Ayreon Universe was performed for the first time, the label Music Theories Recordings from Mascot Label Group released the show on CD, Vinyl, Blu-ray, DVD and also digital. Sales for “Best of Ayreon Live” went through the roof, with top ten chart positions all over the world, including #1 in The Netherlands and Sweden. Not only the fans, but also the press was very impressed:
Powerplay: “Put simply, it’s how symphonic rock should be done; ambitious, overblown and majestic, ostentatious and grand, but oozing with quality and a rare style.”
Prog Magazine: “Grandiose presentation of Ayreon’s first live performance!”
Lords of Metal: “A wet dream for every prog/rock fan.”
Featuring Simone Simons, Mark Jansen, Tom Englund, Damian Wilson, Tommy Karevik, Anneke van Giersbergen, Mike Mills, and many more familiar faces from Ayreon plus very special guest appearances by Barry Hay and Arjen Lucassen*
Dates: Friday 22 June, 2018
Location: Graspop Metal Meeting 2018 – Belgium
Show: 11.05 pm CET at the Marquee Stage