Metallica postpone tour as James Hetfield enters rehab

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

Metallica's James Hetfied enters rehab
Metallica’s James Hetfield, photo by Raymond Ahner

    Metallica frontman James Hetfield has entered a treatment program for addiction. As a result, the band has postponed their upcoming tour of Australia and New Zealand.

    The metal icon famously struggled with alcohol abuse throughout the band’s career but entered rehab in the early 2000s, and was sober for many years. Unfortunately, the band divulged this evening (September 27th) that Hetfield has relapsed.

    The rest of Metallica — Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett, and Robert Trujillo — issued the following statement via the band’s official website:

    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.

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


    Metallica have been hitting all regions of the globe on their “Worldwired Tour”, which has earned more than $400 million to date. In fact, Pollstar recently dubbed Metallica the “biggest all-time touring band” with $1.4 billion in ticket sales over their career.

    Slipknot were set to support Metallica on the Australian and New Zealand dates, which were scheduled to begin on October 17th. Links for refunds are posted at

    (Read: 33 Years After His Death, The Legend of Metallica’s Cliff Burton Lives On)

    As of now, Metallica’s spring South America tour with Greta Van Fleet is still on schedule. That outing is set to kick off April 15th in Santiago, Chile.


    Metallica’s most recent shows were their pair of “S&M2” concerts in San Francisco earlier this month. We covered the first of those shows, where the band sounded in fine form. See our review and photo gallery.

    Metallica 2019-2020 Tour Dates:
    10/17 – Perth, AU @ Optus Stadium ^
    10/20 – Adelaide, AU @ Adelaide Oval ^
    10/22 – Melbourne, AU @ Marvel Stadium ^
    10/24 – Melbourne, AU @ Marvel Stadium ^
    10/26 – Sydney, AU @ ANZ Stadium ^
    10/29 – Brisbane, AU @ QSAC ^
    10/31 – Auckland, NZ – Mt. Smart Stadium ^
    11/02 – Auckland, NZ – Mt. Smart Stadium ^

    04/15 – Santiago, CL @ Estadio Nacional #
    04/18 – Buenos Aires, AR @ Campo Argentino de Polo #
    04/21 – Porto Alegre, BR @ Arena do Grêmio #
    04/23 – Curitiba, BR @ Estádio Couto Pereira #
    04/25 – São Paulo, BR @ Estádio do Morumbi #
    04/27 – Belo Horizonte, BR @ Estádio do Mineirão #

    ^ = w/ Slipknot
    # = w/ Greta Van Fleet