Metal in the Media

Metallica’s Orion Festival Won’t Be Coming Back to Detroit, Might Not Be Coming Back at All

Photo Credit: Romain Blanquart/Detroit Free Press
Photo Credit: Romain Blanquart/Detroit Free Press

Did you have a blast rocking out to Metallica in the ruins of Detroit this past summer with hopes of making it a yearly tradition? Tough noogies: according to the Detroit Free Press Metallica has opted not to bring their Orion Music + More Festival back to the Motor City in 2014. Texas promoter C3 Events has a 3-year deal with the City of Detroit to lease out Belle Isle — the site of the festival — but has decided to opt out of the agreement.

What’s not clear is whether the Orion Festival will simply search for another location (the inaugural edition in 2012 was held in Atlantic City, NJ) or whether the festival will pack it in, at least for the time being. They just announced a string of dates in Europe for summer 2014, but there’s still plenty of summer left for them to hold a festival in the U.S. if they so choose.

Metallica have gone on record as saying they didn’t expect the festival to make money in the early going, but it’s hard to imagine money isn’t playing a factor in the decision to leave Detroit: the 2013 festival attracted only 20,000 attendees — less than Metallica can draw on their own in many cities the world over — despite the presence of a number of other high-profile acts on the bill. Couple that with the disappointing box office sales of their feature film Through the Never and it’s not a stretch to infer that Metallica just don’t want to take on any risky financial burdens right now.

We’ll let you know more as soon as we do. The 2013 festival was announced in mid-December of 2012, so if there’s gonna be a 2014 edition at all we’ll probably know soon.

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