Metallica Backs Out of Sonic Temple

On Monday, Sonic Temple Festival announced that Metallica has canceled their headline performance at the festival with a statement from the band's vocalist, James Hetfield.  The statement reads 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 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.

- James


Music Connection's own Charlie Meister shares his take on the band's cancellation:

Now that Metallica is out for Sonic Temple this season, folks are understandably a bit riled up today. I get it. Believe me, my absolute favorite band of all time just backed out of my favorite music festival. Not only were we going to see Metallica this May, but we were going to see them twice! While the easy reaction would be to get really upset and find myself borderline inconsolable today, I’m excited! 

No, I’m not excited or even the least bit happy that Metallica has to give Sonic Temple (and Louder Than Life this fall) a pass, but I’m taking the high road here. John Frusciante recently rejoined the Red Hot Chili Peppers on guitar, and Tool just put out their first album in 13 years. There’s a lot to celebrate there. 

Still, for me at least, it’s hardly a matter of which headliners are better than others. Let’s not forget we’ll all get a massive set from Slipknot on Saturday night! To me, this festival has always been about the total experience. Heck, look at any of the write-ups I’ve done for Sonic Temple and Rock on the Range here the last several years and my position hasn’t changed. A music festival is about the complete experience. It’s about the road trip with your friends, the people you meet, the city you’re staying in, all the extras the festival packs on site and yes, of course, three days of music. 

I’ll be dishing out the annual survival guide just before festival season really kicks off, just to make sure you have all the right stuff packed, and that you’re not skipping any of the essentials when you’re enjoying your weekend at Sonic Temple, Welcome to Rockville, Epicenter or any other festival this year, but rest assured, no single band will break your weekend, even if they were going to play twice!

If this news totally broke you, and you’re going to change all of your plans over Metallica’s absence, then it’s worth nothing that DWP will be offering either a refund or your choice of ticket to another festival to see Metallica. Emails will come out to those that purchased tickets in the coming days.