Metallica pulls out of Sonic Temple, Louder Than Life festivals

With vocalist/guitarist James Hetfield citing scheduling issues due to “critical recovery events,” Metallica will no longer perform at this year’s Sonic Temple and Louder Than Life festivals. The band is keeping its commitment to perform two sets each at the Epicenter, Welcome to Rockville and Aftershock festivals, as well as all other previously announced 2020 shows.

Festival promoter Danny Wimmer Presents has announced the Red Hot Chili Peppers as the replacement Friday night headliner for Sonic Temple and Tool as Sunday’s new headliner. The Louder Than Life lineup will be announced soon.

Sonic Temple and Louder Than Life pass holders who would like to exchange their passes to see Metallica at another DWP festival, or would like to receive a refund, will be able to do so starting Friday, Feb. 28. An email will be sent out to purchasers from Front Gate Ticketing at 10 a.m. EST Friday with complete exchange and refund details.

Sonic Temple will be held May 15 to 17 at Mapfre Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Louder Than Life is set for Sept. 18 to 20 in Louisville, Kentucky.

Hetfield’s full statement is as follows:

“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 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 released the following statement:

“Of course, we are all disappointed that Metallica won’t be playing Sonic Temple or Louder Than Life. But really, when you stop and think about it, I am nothing but proud and supportive of James. Let’s be straight – we have lost a lot of great people recently including Chester, Chris, Keith and Scott. Something needs to change. As a rock community, we have to support those that are going to take a stand. And that is exactly what James is doing. He is changing his life’s direction to a better place and we should all find our own strength in honor of his courage.

“When we learned about this, the DWP team went into overdrive to find amazing replacements for you. Honestly, given how close we are to Sonic Temple, I was worried about who would be available to play. I am extremely grateful that both Red Hot Chili Peppers and Tool rearranged their schedules on short notice to fill in for Metallica at Sonic Temple. Both bands are excited to play Sonic Temple.

“We are working furiously to find the best possible artists for Louder Than Life and will announce the full lineup soon.

“I want to reiterate that Metallica has confirmed that they WILL still be performing two nights each at Epicenter, Welcome to Rockville and Aftershock as planned.

“I am thrilled with the experience that you will get at all DWP festivals this year. We look forward to seeing you there.”

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