Metallica to Tour Following James Hetfield Rehab

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James Hetfield (second fro R) with his Metallica bandmates

Metallica has announced many 2020 dates following the cancellation of their upcoming tour of Australia and New Zealand due to the decision of band co-founder James Hetfield to re-enter a rehab treatment program. The band have a South American tour in April, followed by many U.S. performances. The latter includes several festivals in which they’ll play two separate sets on two nights in the same weekend. (See the dates below.)

In their Sept. 27 statement, on their Facebook page, the band’s Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett and Robert Trujillo noted that “our brother… has been struggling with addiction on and off for many years.”

The 56-year-old Hetfield, the group’s lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist and principal songwriter, had initially entered rehab in 2002.

The Australia and New Zealand dates, part of the band’s enormously successful WorldWired tour, were scheduled to begin October 17, with guests Slipknot.

The band’s complete statement regarding Hetfield’s health:

A Note from Lars, Kirk, and Rob:

We are truly sorry to inform our fans and friends that we must postpone our upcoming tour of Australia and New Zealand.

As most of you probably know, our brother James has been struggling with addiction on and off for many years. He has now, unfortunately, had to re-enter a treatment program to work on his recovery again.

We fully intend to make our way to your part of the world as soon as health and schedule permit. We’ll let you know as soon as we can. Once again, we are devastated that we have inconvenienced so many of you, especially our most loyal fans who travel great distances to experience our shows. We appreciate your understanding and support for James and, as always, thank you for being a part of our Metallica family.

All tickets purchased to the shows in Australia and New Zealand, including Enhanced Experiences and Black Tickets, will be fully refunded.

The band’s most recent performance was on September 8 at the Chase Center in San Francisco.

Watch Metallica perform with the San Francisco Symphony on Sept. 8

Formed in 1981 by drummer Ulrich and guitarist/vocalist Hetfield, Metallica has become one of the most influential and commercially successful rock bands in history, having sold nearly 120 million albums worldwide and generating more than 2.5 billion streams while playing to millions of fans on all seven continents. The band’s several multi-platinum albums include Kill ‘em All, Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets, … And Justice for All, Metallica (commonly referred to as The Black Album), Load, Reload, St. Anger, Death Magnetic, and most recently Hardwired…to Self-Destruct, released in November 2016 and charting at #1 in 32 countries.

Metallica’s numerous awards and accolades include nine Grammy Awards, two American Music Awards, and multiple MTV Video Music Awards, and induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2009. In June of 2018, the band was awarded one of the most prestigious musical honors in the world: Sweden’s Polar Music Prize. Metallica’s WorldWired tour began in 2016. Dates are scheduled through 2020.

Metallica 2020 Tour Dates (Tickets are available here and here)

Mar 28 – San Francisco, CA – The Masonic (Benefit concert)
Apr 15 – Santiago, Chile – Estadio Nacional
Apr 18 – Buenos Aires, Argentina – Campo Argentino de Polo
Apr 21 – Porto Alegre, Brazil – Arena do Gremio
Apr 23 – Curitiba, Brazil – Estadio Couto Pereira
Apr 25 – Sao Paulo, Brazil – Estadio do Morumbi
Apr 27 – Belo Horizonte, Brazil – Estadio do Mineirao
May 1, 3 – Charlotte, NC – Epicenter Festival at Charlotte Motor Speedway
May 8, 10 – Daytona Beach, FL – Rockville Festival at Daytona International Speedway
May 15, 17 – Columbus, OH – Sonic Temple Art + Music Festival
Sep 18, 20 – Louisville, KY – Louder Than Life at Highland Festival Grounds
Sep 26 – Location TBD – Global Citizen Festival
Oct 9, 11 – Sacramento, CA – Aftershock Festival at Discovery Park

Related: When Lou Reed met Metallica

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