Metallica
[Photo via Twisted Sister]

Metallica have announced that they will not be appearing at this year’s Sonic Temple (May 15 and 17 in Columbus, Ohio) and Louder Than Life (September 18 and 20 in Louisville, Kentucky). The cancelation of the dates is to support frontman/guitarist James Hetfield in his recovery process.

The band stress they will be appearing at the scheduled dates for Epicenter (May 1 and 3), Welcome To Rockville (May 8 and 10),  and Aftershock (Oct 9 and 11). The band originally announced they would play dual headlining sets at all five Danny Wimmer presents festivals in October.

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Sonic Temple have announced Red Hot Chili Peppers and Tool as replacement headliners for Friday and Sunday, with Slipknot at the top of the bill for Saturday. An announcement regarding the lineup for Louder Than Life is expected shortly.

Promoter Danny Wimmer also released a statement regarding the change.

As for Louder Than Life, the lineup changes will be announced “soon.”

In a statement on the Metallica website, Hetfield explains that he has “critical recovery events” scheduled the weekends of the festivals that can’t be moved. The frontman entered rehab in late September canceling Australia and New Zealand gigs. Last week, he returned to the stage for the first time since his rehab stay to honor Eddie Money at a tribute event.

You can read Hetfield’s full statement from the band’s website below.

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.

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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.

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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.

– James

Pass holders for the Sonic Temple and Louder Than Life events may exchange their passes to see Metallica at another DWP event or receive a refund. Beginning this Friday (Feb 28), emails will be sent out to purchasers from Front Gate Ticketing at 10:00 AM EST with all the pertinent details.