METALLICA has regretfully had to cancel their headline performances at Sonic Temple Art + Music Festival in Columbus, Ohio (May 15 and May 17) and Louder Than Life in Louisville, Kentucky (September 18 and September 20) to allow singer James Hetfield to continue his road to recovery.
METALLICA reassures its fans that the band will appear at Danny Wimmer Presents festivals Epicenter (May 1 and May 3), Welcome To Rockville (May 8 and May 10) and Aftershock (October 9 and October 11) as scheduled.
RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS (recently reunited with guitarist John Frusciante) and TOOL have been announced as new headliners for Sonic Temple, joining Saturday's headliner SLIPKNOT for the May 15-17 festival at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus. RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS will headline Friday, May 15 while TOOL will headline Sunday, May 17.
Hetfield has released the following statement regarding the cancelations:
"Dear METALLICA Family,
"It pains me to write this, but I have to let all of you know that I cannot make it to Sonic Temple in Columbus and Louder Than Life in Louisville this year. As part of my continuing effort to get and stay healthy, I have critical recovery events on those weekends that cannot be moved. I apologize to all of our fans who have bought tickets for these festivals. We are working with the festival promoters to provide for refunds or exchanges.
"My intent with this statement is saying 'I apologize' to each one of you. The reality is that I have not prioritized my health in the past year of touring and I now know that my mental health comes first. That might sound like a no-brainer for most of you but I didn’t want to let the METALLICA team/family down and, I alone completely compromised myself.
"Looking on the brighter side, my therapy is going well. It was absolutely necessary for me to look after my mental, physical, and spiritual health.
"I want to stress that the band will play all other announced 2020 shows.
"I am looking forward to getting back to playing and seeing all our great South American fans in April. And, of course, playing the Epicenter in Charlotte, Welcome To Rockville, in Daytona and Aftershock Festival in Sacramento. We will still play two unique sets at each of these festivals.
"Beyond 2020, I am optimistic about the blessings I have been given and what the future brings. I appreciate all the great prayers and support from everyone since I went into rehab last September. Like the moth into the flame, being human in this career has its huge challenges and can be difficult. Your understanding helps the healing."
Danny Wimmer Presents founder and festival creator Danny Wimmer says: "First and foremost, I want to say how much I respect and support James for taking care of himself, and for his commitment to getting healthy. At the same time, I am also deeply devoted to providing our festivalgoers with the biggest and best festival experience in the world. As disappointed as we all are to lose METALLICA, I am thrilled that RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS and TOOL, dear friends of both DWP and METALLICA, are stepping up on short notice to join SLIPKNOT, keeping Sonic Temple on track to be the greatest rock festival in America."
Sonic Temple and Louder Than Life pass holders who would like to exchange their passes to see METALLICA at another Danny Wimmer Presents festival, or would like to receive a refund, will be able to do so starting this Friday, February 28. An email will be sent out to purchasers from Front Gate Ticketing on Friday at 10:00 a.m. EST with complete exchange and refund details.
Hetfield has been largely out of the public eye since last fall when METALLICA canceled an Australian tour and announced that Hetfield was returning to rehab to battle his addictions. The singer/guitarist first got treatment in 2002, a process that was chronicled in the 2004 documentary "Metallica: Some Kind Of Monster".
James made his first major public appearance since entering rehab on January 30, when an exhibit featuring 10 of his classic custom cars opened with a ticketed reception at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.
Hetfield performed live for the time since his rehab stay on Thursday (February 20) at a tribute to Eddie Money. The METALLICA frontman played an acoustic rendition of Money's "Baby Hold On" at Saban in Beverly Hills, California.