Metallica have pulled out of the Sonic Temple and Louder Than Life festivals. They were scheduled to play both Friday and Sunday night, performing two different sets at each.

James Hetfield has released a statement further detailing the news.

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

Danny Wimmer Presents founder and festival creator Danny Wimmer expressed best wishes for the Metallica frontman and the company's dedication to still provide fans with a great experience. “First and foremost, I want to say how much I respect and support James for taking care of himself, and for his commitment to getting healthy. At the same time, I am also deeply devoted to providing our festivalgoers with the biggest and best festival experience in the world," he shared in a statement to press. "As disappointed as we all are to lose Metallica, I am thrilled that Red Hot Chili Peppers and Tool, dear friends of both DWP and Metallica, are stepping up on short notice to join Slipknot, keeping Sonic Temple on track to be the greatest rock festival in America.”

Starting this Friday (Feb. 28), ticket holders for Sonic Temple and Louder Than Life will have the option to either exchange their passes for a different festival so they can still see Metallica, or can receive a full refund. An email will be sent out regarding details on how to proceed.

This past fall, Metallica announced that they were rescheduling their tour in Australia and New Zealand because frontman James Hetfield was going to rehab. Shortly after, it was revealed that the band would headline five Danny Wimmer Presents festivals in 2020, playing two nights at each one.

Earlier this month, Metallica rescheduled their first 2020 show, which was a benefit concert for the All Within My Hands Foundation in San Francisco at the end of March. The performance has been postponed for this fall.

Now, they've canceled their headlining slots at Sonic Temple in May. The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Tool will now headline in Metallica's place. There have not been any announcements about the other U.S. festivals yet.

We wish James the best as he continues on his road to recovery.

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