Metallica postpones upcoming tour as James Hetfield returns to rehab

"Our brother James has been struggling with addiction on and off for many years"

Metallica have postponed their upcoming tour of Australia and New Zealand due to frontman James Hetfield returning to rehab.

The announcement was made on Friday (September 27) via the band’s website and social media channels. “We are truly sorry to inform our fans and friends that we must postpone our upcoming tour of Australia and New Zealand,” Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett, and Rob Trujillo said in a statement.

“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.”

The tour was due to start October 17 in Perth, Australia and conclude November 2 in Auckland, New Zealand.

Although the tour has been postponed the band noted that fans who purchased tickets for any of the affected dates would be fully refunded. More details on how to obtain refunds can be found here: Australia | New ZealandEnhanced Experience and Black tickets

See the announcement below:

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

Posted by Metallica on Friday, September 27, 2019

At present, Metallica’s benefit concert on March 28, 2020 in San Francisco is still expected to take place, as is their South American tour in April 2020.

Hetfield’s addiction and alcoholism issues were detailed in the 2004 documentary Some Kind of Monster; after the film’s release, the singer checked into a rehab facility.

Speaking on The Joe Rogan Experience in 2017, he said that he had been sober for 15 years (via Loudwire).

“Fear was a big motivator in that for me,” Hetfield shared. “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. I got kicked out of my house by my wife, I was living on my own somewhere, I did not want that. Maybe as part of my upbringing, my family kind of disintegrated when I was a kid. Father left, mother passed away, had to live with my brother, and then kind of just, where did my stuff go? It just kind of floated away, and I do not want that happening. No matter what’s going on, we’re going to talk this stuff out, and make it work.”

Meanwhile, Metallica have been crowned the “biggest all-time touring band” in a new study.

The band have been taking their WorldWired Tour around the globe this year, and played a pair of recent ‘S&M2’ gigs in San Francisco.