Metallica cancel two summer festival tour dates

Metallica press shot
(Image credit: Ross Halfin)

Metallica have cancelled two scheduled appearances at Sonic Temple and Louder Than Life festivals this summer. 

The band were due to play two headline sets at the Epicenter Festival, Welcome To Rockville, Sonic Temple, Louder Than Life and Aftershock this summer. 

However, vocalist and guitarist James Hetfield has confirmed via a statement on the Metallica website that following his return to rehab at the end of 2019, he has "critical recovery events" which cannot be moved on the weekends that Sonic Temple and Louder Than Life are set to take place. 

Hetfield's statement reads: "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 apologise 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 apologise” to each one of you. The reality is that I have not prioritised 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 Epicenter in Charlotte, Welcome to Rockville in Daytona and Aftershock 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."

Tool and the Red Hot Chili Peppers will step in for Metallica at Sonic Temple. Louder Than Life headliners will be announced at a later date. 

Refunds for both events will be available from February 28 and ticket holders will be contacted via email. For more information, head to Danny Wimmer's official site

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Briony Edwards

Briony is the Editor in Chief of Louder and is in charge of sorting out who and what you see covered on the site. She started working with Metal Hammer, Classic Rock and Prog magazines back in 2015 and has been writing about music and entertainment in many guises since 2009. She is a big fan of cats, Husker Du and pizza.