Metallica Nix Orion Fest for 2014

Event would conflict with metal band's European tour dates

James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett of Metallica perform in New York City.
Theo Wargo/Getty Images for SiriusXM
James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett of Metallica perform in New York City.
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Metallica's Orion Music + More festival will take a year off in 2014, according to The Detroit News. C3, the festival's promoter, told the paper the band made the decision because Orion would have conflicted with their European summer tour dates. The group has held the two prior installments of the festival. The promoter's spokesman said that Metallica might still resume the festival in 2015, though it's not clear whether it would return to Detroit.

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After debuting in Atlantic City in 2012, this year's two-day fest took place in Detroit, where Metallica co-headlined with Red Hot Chili Peppers, and got support from a wide range of acts including Bassnectar, Flag and Rise Against, among others. While there, Metallica also performed a special set under the name Dehaan – a reference to actor Dane Dehaan, who appeared in the group's 3-D IMAX movie Metallica Through the Never – in which they played their 1983 debut album, Kill 'Em All, in its entirety. 

Metallica headlined both nights of the inaugural Orion fest in Atlantic City. They also played two albums in their entirety: 1984's Ride the Lightning and their 1991 blockbuster "Black Album." That installment also featured a wide range of acts performing, including Modest Mouse, Arctic Monkeys and Eric Church. "I always think that our fans are as open-minded as I am, as Metallica is, and sometimes in the past we’ve been proven wrong," drummer Lars Ulrich said of the fest's diversity at the time. "And that's OK, I'm not going to sit and tell people what they should or shouldn't embrace."

In the months since holding this year's festival, Metallica have kept busy. Not only did they release Through the Never, but they headlined Revolver magazine's Golden Gods Awards, played the Apollo Theater in Harlem and scheduled a gig in Antarctica. That latter performance will take place Sunday near the heliport of the continent's Carlini Argentine Base. But it won't just be a typical concert: "We'll be playing inside a dome on the base," the band said in a statement, "and in another twist, the show will be transmitted to the audience via headphones with no amplification . . . a real first for us." After that, they just need to sift through nearly 600 song ideas to make their next record.

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