Sneap, who produced Priest's 2018 album Firepower, joined Richie Faulkner on six-string duties for the record's run of live dates, after the band's longtime guitarist Glenn Tipton had to step back from the group following his diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.
While discussing the forthcoming tour, Halford told Metal Pilgrim, “Andy Sneap is still standing in that spot for Glenn with Glenn’s blessing… it’s pretty much a given that [Sneap will join the tour].
"And my gratitude to Andy. It couldn’t have happened in a better way if you wanna try and make something good out of it," he continued. "It was a really important day when Glenn said, ‘I think It’s probably best if I step to the side and maybe should let Andy come in.’ That was just a really beautiful act of selflessness.”
Halford also revealed that Tipton is still involved in the songwriting process for the band’s next album, and teased a possible cameo from the guitarist on tour, saying, "I’ve got a feeling that Glenn’s gonna be making the occasional appearance on this 50th anniversary tour.”
Tipton previously spoke to Guitar World about what went through his head when he was first diagnosed: “It was upsetting, but I wasn’t really shocked because I sort of thought it was Parkinson’s. I probably hoped it wasn’t, but the doctor said it was.”
While initially Tipton was determined to carry on touring and writing, eventually he determined he would be unable to continue, saying, “I decided that it was really going to be too much for me.
"With the medication and the time zone changes and everything else, I realized it was time to retire, from touring at least. I don’t ever want to compromise Judas Priest. It’s too big a part of my life.”
Judas Priest will be celebrating their 50th anniversary with a huge world tour, starting in September and running until summer 2022, featuring Swedish metalheads Sabaton in support across the US, while Priest will support Ozzy Osbourne in Europe and the UK. Full dates can be found on the band's website.
In other Priest news, the group's former guitarist K.K. Downing recently revealed the remaining band members had threatened him with legal action over the name of his new project, KK's Priest.