Don't hold your breath for another edition of Metallica's Orion Music + More festival. Frontman James Hetfield said in a January 27th interview with a Houston radio station that the two-year-old event "has been a disaster financially, and it's not able to happen again because of that. So it's a bummer."
The first edition of Orion was held in Atlantic City, New Jersey over two days in June of 2012, with the second edition taking place on Detroit's Belle Isle last June. Both featured around two dozen acts, along with exhibitions, films and other attractions. The Detroit show reportedly brought in around 40,000 fans for the entire weekend to see Metallica, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Deftones, Rise Against and others.
- The financial toll that the festival took must have been even worse than the band first estimated, because Hetfield told us last year that making money wasn't the goal: "We're not expecting this thing to break even for a while, really. It's a long term investment, and as a band who's done lots of things over 30 years, this is another adventure. We're trying to help make a stamp on music history. So at the end of the day, it's not about us making money at all."
- Hetfield told the station that the problems facing Orion were part of the same issues that have kept Metallica from touring in the U.S. more frequently. Asked when the band might be back on the road in its home country, Hetfield said, "I'm not sure what's going on in the States as far as rock and metal goes and concert-wise, but there's not really any willingness to get a big show out there and make it worthwhile to actually get out there and play . . . It's pretty tough in North America."
- Metallica will get down to work on its next studio album in the months head before hitting the European festival circuit this summer with an "all-request" set list chosen online by fans.
WHAT DO YOU THINK??
- Are you surprised to hear James be so candid about the Orion festival, and are you surprised that it did so poorly?
- What do you think are the reasons?
- Does it seem like rock music is on the decline in the U.S.?
- How often do you go to concerts? When you go, are there a lot of people or are the crowds getting smaller?
- Why is the European scene still so healthy?
INTERNET COMMENTS at Blabbermouth -- agree or not?
Padan Fain wrote: "That's because the American audience has never and will never be like the European or other foreign markets, and that's just a fact. Other countries live and breathe their metal and related lifestyles. The entire climate is different."
Michael Link wrote: "Maybe Hetfield should lower his expectations about his own paycheck a little."
Will Silva wrote: "the fact is americans are too picky and love to bash every band they dont like, in europe people go out to see every tour or festival package and dont sit and bitch about some bands they dont like are on it. there is more appreciation for music as a whole."
Anthony Buono wrote: "The states like s*** music, there is no creativity because money comes first and there's much less of it now."
Chris Worthington wrote: "Getting kind of sick of hearing these rich, pompous f***s whine about how their movie and festival and God knows what else didn't make money for them. If they didn't turn their backs on their original fanbase, then they wouldn't be in this situation."
jon anthony wrote: "Ticket prices are partially to blame because of the rampant gouging in the unregulated ticket aftermarket that has been going on for decades. The rest of the problem is artistic relevance."
Metallica's James Hetfield On 'Orion' Not Being About Money
Read more at Blabbermouth, Loudwire, Ultimate Classic Rock, Noisecreep and Rolling Stone
Check out an interview with frontman James Hetfield, drummer Lars Ulrich and bassist Robert Trujillo on "Through The Never" and the Grammys at Blabbermouth
Check out an interview with bassist Robert Trujillo on "Through The Never" and next album at Blabbermouth