James Hetfield. Picture: Ethan Miller/Getty Images
James Hetfield. Picture: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

‘Devastated’ Metallica cancel Oz tour

Rock legends Metallica have cancelled their upcoming stadium tour of Australia and New Zealand just weeks before it was due to begin.

In an emotional note to their Aussie fans, the remaining band members have revealed that frontman James Hetfield has entered rehab for his ongoing addiction issues, forcing the cancellation of the tour that was due to start on October 17.

The band's Australian tour promoter Live Nation say that, while all tickets will be refunded, they are working with Metallica to secure new tour dates.

Heavy metal band Slipknot, who were due to support Metallica on the tour, have not yet publicly commented on the cancellation.


Metallica singer James Hetfield. Picture: Getty
Metallica singer James Hetfield. Picture: Getty

The cancellation came with a personal note from three of Metallica's four members, explaining the reason for the abrupt move:

"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 often 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."

Hetfield's past addiction issues were well-documented in the band's warts-and-all 2004 documentary Some Kind of Monster. In a 2017 interview, the rocker discussed being 15 years sober, saying "fear" had been a big motivator in giving up drugs and alcohol.

"Losing my family, that was the thing that scared me so much, that was the bottom I hit, that my family is going to go away because of my behaviors that I brought home from the road," he said.

US metal gods Metallica. File photo.
US metal gods Metallica. File photo.

During that same interview, Hetfield, who has three children with wife of 22 years Francesca Tomasi, said he'd found entering a treatment facility to be incredibly beneficial.

"What worked for me was 7 weeks someplace, like basically tearing you down to bones, ripping your life apart, anything you thought about yourself or what it was, anything you thought you had, your family, your career, anything, gone. Strip you down to just, you're born. Here's how you were when you were born, you were okay, you were a good person, let's get back to that again, then they slowly rebuild you."

Metallica's 'WorldWired' Australian tour was announced in March this year, with the band due to perform the first show of the tour at Perth's Optus stadium on October 17. It was to be the first of eight stadium dates across Australia and New Zealand, including a night at Sydney's ANZ Stadium and two dates at Melbourne's Marvel Stadium.

All dates are now listed as 'postponed' on Metallica's official website, while Live Nation lists the same dates as 'cancelled.'

All tickets purchased to the shows in Australia and New Zealand will be fully refunded - refund information can be found here (Aus) and here (NZ).

The tour would have been Metallica's first to Australia since 2013 and first shows in New Zealand since 2010.

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