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James Hetfield Says METALLICA's Orion Festival Was A "Financial Disaster"

Posted by on January 30, 2014 at 11:52 am

A few weeks back, Metallica confirmed there would be no Orion Festival this summer, their annual curated festival which ran for two years in 2012 and 2013.

Turns out the band lost a lot of money on the expermient, and left frontman James Hetfield with a sour outlook on the metal scene in the States. In a new interview with Houston's 94.5 The Buzz, Hetfield was asked when fans can expect Metallica to play a show in the States again and he responded:

"You know what? We keep going back to Europe for summer festivals. People keep offering us headline spots over there. [We're going to] South America this year. I don't know what's happening the States. The States has gotta step up and want their music.

"I'm not sure what's going on in the States as far as rock and metal goes and concert-wise, but there's not really any willingness to get a big show out there and make it worthwhile to actually get out there and play. You see other bands gathering up six different bands just to go out and play.

"It's pretty tough in North America."

He added: "Right now, it seems like metal is struggling a little bit in the States. Obviously, the Orion [Music + More] festival that we had tried to do the last couple of years has really not been… Gosh, it's been a disaster financially, and it's not able to happen again because of that. So it's a bummer. So, you know, we're doing what we can to keep being alive here. And I hope to get out and play in the States. It seems like forever since we've been out and about. You know, we've hit the coasts and we've done TV stuff and things like that. But it will happen again. So hopefully, to get your fix, you're able to get the ['Metallica Through The Never'] DVD and sit there and headbang with your friends."

Oof, those are some harsh words that will surely upset North American metal heads. The thing about Orion Fest not necessarily being a success cannot be blamed on metal alone, seeing as though most of the bands on the festival lineups both years were NOT metal. I feel like if Metallica did a balls-to-the-wall full-on metal and rock fest it would succeed. There are plenty of cases of success, the first one that comes to mind is Rock on the Range, and even that isn't incredibly metal, but has enough of a variety of sub-genres to keep everybody interested.

Here are our video reports from both iterations of the Orion Festival:

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