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Metallica postpone tour as James Hetfield enters rehab for addiction

Metallica's James Hetfield on stage in August 2019 © Getty

Metallica have postponed their entire October 2019 Australian and New Zealand tour as James Hetfield has entered rehab.

Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett and Robert Trujillo released a joint statement on Saturday morning saying James has been “struggling with addiction on and off for many years” and “unfortunately” he has “had to re-enter a treatment program to work on his recovery again.” 

Metallica have vowed to return to Australia and New Zealand “as soon as health and schedule permit”. With rescheduled dates yet to be confirmed, the band have pledged to refund all tickets purchased. 

Metallica’s eight-date stadium tour was due to kick off at Perth Optus Stadium on 17th October and wrap up at Auckland Mt Smart Stadium on 31st October. Slipknot were due to support at all shows. 

James’s struggles with addiction and alcoholism were detailed in the acclaimed 2004 documentary Metallica: Some Kind of Monster, and he entered rehab during filming. 

Lars, Kirk and Robert’s full statement reads: 

“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 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.

“All tickets purchased to the shows in Australia and New Zealand, including Enhanced Experiences and Black Tickets, will be fully refunded.” 

The South American leg of the WorldWired Tour is scheduled to start in April 2020. 

A Note from Lars, Kirk, and Rob We are truly sorry to inform our fans and friends that we must postpone our upcoming...

Posted by Metallica on Friday, September 27, 2019

Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi, and Guns N' Roses' Matt Sorum, who have both faced their own addiction problems in the past, are amongst some of the musicians who have joined the chorus of well-wishers on social media. 

Everyone at Planet Rock wishes James the very best in his recovery. 

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