Knotfest was officially announced on June 4, 2012. Among the activities the festival offered as part of its "dark carnival experience" were circus big-top tents, pillars of fire, amusement park rides, burlesque performers, firebreathers, stilt walkers, drum circles made of junkyard cars and graffiti walls. The two shows also debuted a Slipknot museum.
"It's all about having fun and going crazy, bringing it to the standard it used to be," Slipknot's Shawn "Clown" Crahan told Rolling Stone. "It's time for us to really engulf this idea known as Knotfest where we're in control, we make a day devoted to our mindset, our ideas, the people that we want to play with, the people that we think our fans want to be around... When everyone leaves their senses [will be] overloaded, and I'm talking about smells, sights, hearing, your body, everything is overloaded with stimulation, because that's what Slipknot does."
On July 11, Slipknot announced that their closing performance at Knotfest would be broadcast via a pay-per-view streaming website. Shawn "Clown" Crahan said, "It means everything for everyone to see the live spectacle we're creating in the flesh, but we understand some fans around the world can't be at the show. We've now made it possible for you to be there in spirit - so join us live on August 18."