(CelebrityAccess) — Metallica frontman and founder James Hetfield announced the group is pulling out of the lineups for the Sonic Temple and Louder Than Life while he focuses on addiction recovery.
“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,” Hetfield wrote in a statement on Monday.
“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,” he added.
Hetfield announced he was entering a recovery program last September for help with “addiction issues.” While he did not reveal the nature of his addiction, his battle with alcohol was previously detailed in the 2004 documentary Some Kind of Monster.
The decision to pull out of the two festivals must be a blow to promoter Danny Wimmer Presents, who had secured Metallica’s exclusive festival performances for 2020.
“Of course, we are all disappointed that Metallica won’t be playing Sonic Temple. 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,” Wimmer said in a statement on Monday.
“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 inspired by how willing James’ peers have been to step up and support him,” he added.
Metallica has already been replaced in the lineup for Sonic Temple by the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Tool.
“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.”
Replacement artists for Louder Than Life have not been announced.
“We are working furiously to find the best possible artists for Louder Than Life and will announce the full lineup soon,” Wimmer said.
Metallica is still booked for DWP’s Epicenter in Charlotte, Welcome To Rockville, in Daytona and Aftershock Festival in Sacramento later this year.