European touring metal festival Sonisphere has been branded a success by its organisers, who have vowed that it will return next year.

Sonisphere ran from June 20 to Aug. 2, hitting venues in the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Finland and the United Kingdom.

The final Sonisphere festival of 2009 took place last weekend (Aug. 1-2) in the grounds of Knebworth House in Hertfordshire, England. It saw Metallica, Limp Bizkit, Nine Inch Nails, Linkin Park, Anthrax and Alice in Chains play to a combined audience of 80,000 people over two days.

Although that figure was some way short of the site's 60,000 daily capacity, festival director Stuart Galbraith says he was delighted with Sonisphere's U.K. bow, adding that he had received "great feedback from the event" and that it "met all of our hopes and expectations."

According to Galbraith, the total attendance at all six Sonisphere festivals was approximately 285,000 with Spain, Finland and the United Kingdom being the three strongest markets.

The only territory where sales Sonisphere failed hit expectations was the Netherlands, says Galbraith, who had anticipated selling between 40,000-50,000 tickets for the one-day event held June 20 at Goffertpark Nijmegen. Final ticket sales for the Dutch leg amounted to approximately 30,000 and a decision on whether Sonisphere will return to the country in 2010 is now being assessed.

However, Galbraith insists that, in 2010, it's his "intention to go back to the vast majority" of the other markets which staged Sonisphere. He says discussions are also taking place about growing the number of territories where Sonisphere visits, citing Eastern Europe as one potential area of expansion.