Metallica has canceled the band’s upcoming headlining sets at this year’s Sonic Temple and Louder than Life festivals, due to frontman James Hetfield‘s continuing recovery from substance abuse issues.
“As part of my continuing effort to get and stay healthy, I have critical recovery events on those weekends that cannot be moved,” Hetfield writes in a statement posted to Metallica’s website.
“My intent with this statement is saying ‘I apologize’ to each one of you,” he continues. “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,” he added.
Sonic Temple and Louder than Life, held in May and September, respectively, are among the five rock festivals Metallica planned to play this year. The metal legends are still scheduled to perform at the Epicenter, Welcome to Rockville and Aftershock festivals. As previously announced, they’re set to play two separate, unique headlining sets at each event.
“I want to stress that the band will play all other announced 2020 shows,” Hetfield writes.
Red Hot Chili Peppers and Tool will step in for Metallica at Sonic Temple. The full Louder than Life lineup has yet to be announced.
Hetfield returned to rehab last September. Just last week, he made a surprise appearance at an Eddie Money tribute concert, marking the first time he’s performed live since re-entering treatment.
Metallica’s first official show with Hetfield back takes place April 15 in Chile.
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