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James Hetfield's Mandatory "Sobriety Weekends" Are What Led To METALLICA's Fest Cancellations

Now we know.

2017-07-19-Montreal-Metallica-11

The metal world was shocked, but supportive, when Metallica frontman James Hetfield posted a statement earlier this week revealing that we would have to cancel two of the band's big festival appearances this summer. At the time, Hetfield explained he had “critical recovery events on those weekends that cannot be moved.”

Fans were confused, because there were shows before and after these dates that were not canceled. Today, we have a bit more clarity.  Gary Spivack, Executive VP of Danny Wimmer Presents, spoke to Ultimate Guitar and offered some more information on how the situation came to be.

“Well, we got the call from Metallica’s management team, Q Prime, who are, the best managers in the business, hands down, and said that James has Sobriety Weekends that are requirement weekend that are throughout the calendar year, and unfortunately, a couple of those weekends fell on our festivals. Although Metallica will still be at Welcome to Rockville, Epicenter, and Aftershock in 2020 with us, we did lose them for Sonic Temple and Louder Than Life.

“So, then it was, how do you even contemplate filling the shoes of the biggest band in our world? Well, you do it by finding two of the biggest bands in our world. So, we got Red Hot Chili Peppers, with John Frusciante, which will be one of only four shows they’ll be doing in 2020, and of course, Grammy award-winning artist, Tool.

When asked what message he has to Metallica fans that might be upset with the cancellation, Spivak noted:

“Go to Metallica’s website and read James’ statement. It’s heartfelt, it’s raw, it’s from the heart, and I don’t know how you can hate on that. It’s impossible for us. A guy focusing on his well-being and wanting to get better, that’s everything.”

He later added:

“… first and foremost, we’re fans and we ask for everybody who’s disappointed with Metallica, to understand it, to respect it, and be with us. Come to our festivals. It’s never about one band. It’s a whole rock and roll experience and we hope to see everybody out there in May.”

The most important thing is that James is getting the care that he needs. Here is Metallica's current 2020 routing:

04/15 Santiago, CHL – Estadio Nacional [Tickets]
04/18 Buenos Aires, ARRG – Camp Argentino de Polo [Tickets]
04/21 Porto Alegre, BRA – Arena do Gremio [Tickets]
04/23 Curitiba, BRA – Estadio Couto Pereira [Tickets]
04/25 Sao Paulo, BRA – Estadio do Morumbi [Tickets]
04/27 Belo Horizonte, BRA – Estadio do Mineirao [Tickets]
05/01-03 Concord, NC – Epicenter Festival [Tickets]
05/08-10 Daytona Beach, FL – Welcome To Rockville [Tickets]
09/26 TBA – Global Citizen Festival
10/09-11 Sacramento, CA – Aftershock Festival [Tickets]

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