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Metallica have dropped out of performing their double-headlining sets at Sonic Temple and Louder Than Life Festivals.

In a statement from James Hetfield, he tell fans the following:

“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”

Metallica will be replaced by Red Hot Chili Peppers and Tool on May 15 and 17, respectively, at Sonic Temple in Columbus, Ohio. As for Louder Than Life, promotor Danny Wimmer has not confirmed replacement acts, but has released the following statement:

“Of course, we are all disappointed that Metallica won’t be playing Louder Than Life. But really, when you stop and think about it, I am nothing but proud and supportive of James. Let’s be straight – we have lost a lot of great people recently including Chester, Chris, Keith and Scott. Something needs to change. As a rock community, we have to support those that are going to take a stand. And that is exactly what James is doing. He is changing his life’s direction to a better place and we should all find our own strength in honor of his courage.

We are working furiously to find the best possible artists for Louder Than Life and will announce the full lineup soon. Thank you for your continued trust and support. I promise that Louder Than Life will be an incredible weekend.”

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Erica Banas is rock/classic rock news blogger who's well versed in etiquette and extraordinarily nice.