Metallica announced earlier this year that they'd be headlining two nights at five different 2020 festivals, but they've now cancelled their sets at two of them. They will no longer be appearing at Columbus, OH's Sonic Temple or Louisville, KY's Louder Than Life. Metallica's James Hetfield, who re-entered treatment for addiction in September, explains in a letter:

Dear Metallica Family,

It pains me to write this, but I have to let all of you know that I cannot make it to Sonic Temple in Columbus and Louder Than Life in Louisville this year. As part of my continuing effort to get and stay healthy, I have critical recovery events on those weekends that cannot be moved. I apologize to all of our fans who have bought tickets for these festivals. We are working with the festival promoters to provide for refunds or exchanges. My intent with this statement is saying “I apologize” to each one of you. The reality is that I have not prioritized my health in the past year of touring and I now know that my mental health comes first. That might sound like a no-brainer for most of you but I didn’t want to let the Metallica team/family down and, I alone, completely compromised myself.

Looking on the brighter side, my therapy is going well. It was absolutely necessary for me to look after my mental, physical, and spiritual health.

I want to stress that the band will play all other announced 2020 shows.

I am looking forward to getting back to playing and seeing all our great South American fans in April. And, of course, playing Epicenter in Charlotte, Welcome to Rockville in Daytona and Aftershock in Sacramento. We will still play two unique sets at each of these festivals.

Beyond 2020, I am optimistic about the blessings I have been given and what the future brings. I appreciate all the great prayers and support from everyone since I went into rehab last September. Like the moth into the flame, being human in this career has its huge challenges and can be difficult. Your understanding helps the healing.

- James

James made his first public appearance after rehab on Thursday (2/20), performing at a tribute to Eddie Money at the Saban in Beverly Hills, CA.

Meanwhile, Tool and The Red Hot Chili Peppers will replace Metallica at Sonic Temple; stay tuned for information about their Louder Than Life replacements.

More From Brooklyn Vegan