By Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen

Metal gods Iron Maiden are planning a massive tour of Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland next July, which will be the biggest rock tour ever undertaken in the Nordic countries, according to the band. Following their record-breaking and wildly popular sell outs at Ullevi Stadium in 2005, and the multiple arena shows around the region in 2006, tour promoter EMA Telstar has put together a concert schedule which will allow the band to play to at least 250,000 fans at their six stadium shows.

The veteran band has been generating considerable buzz with their upcoming tour, which includes a swing through Australia. In addition, vocalist Bruce Dickinson, a licensed airline captain with Astraeus Airlines, will pilot the band’s converted Boeing 757 between tour stops.

“We are all very proud to be making history by giving our rock fans the biggest Nordic rock tour there has ever been and certainly one of the most spectacular,” said tour promoter Thomas Johansson of EMA Telstar in a statement. “Maiden is so hugely popular with the Nordic peoples that we wanted to ensure that as many fans as possible got the opportunity to see this very special show next year as we expect demand for tickets to be enormous.”

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To allow Iron Maiden fans in Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway to get right up close to the band, the band’s fan club is organizing advance booking of tickets for members and running a special drawing where 60 winners and a friend at each show will be given first access to the venue and be first to the stage barrier. Tickets go on sale to the public on Nov. 12; but members of the fan club will get special and exclusive first access beginning today, Nov. 8.

Iron Maiden Nordic itinerary:
July 16 Stockholm, Sweden Stockholm Stadium
July 18 Helsinki, Finland Helsinki Olympic Stadium
July 22 Trondheim, Norway Lerkendalstadium
July 24 Oslo, Norway Valle Hovin
July 26 Gothenburg, Sweden Ullevi Stadium
July 27 Horsens, Denmark Horsens Gods Bane Pladsen