Metallica: 'We Lost Millions of Dollars'

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'If It Would Have Broken Even, We'd Still Be Doing It, but We Lost Millions Both Times', Said James Hetfield About the Band's 'Orion Music + More' Festival, 'At Some Point, Business Comes Into Play'

It’s not always easy, even when you’re on top of the world. In a recent interview to Metallica’s fan club magazine, ‘So What!’, Singer and guitarist James Hetfield said the band lost ‘Millions of dollars’ producing the ‘Orion Music + More’ festival, and they can not do it again. 

The festival was held in Atlantic City (2012) and Detroit (2013). As the host, Metallica brought bands like Red Hot Chili PeppersArctic MonkeysThe Gaslight Anthem and many more to share the stage with for two days. 

What looked like a great success at first, was discovered otherwise this week. “If it would have broken even, we'd still be doing it, but we lost millions both times. We can't do that”, Said Hetfield as quoted on ‘Blabbermouth’, “At some point, business comes into play. Why would you keep doing something that's damaging you and could prevent you moving forward? It was fun to do, we had a blast doing it, employed a lot of people and helped out both cities it was in. A lot of good came out of it, but we can't do it again.

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“Maybe it was too adventurous, bill-wise. I think it was too wide. If it was more of a metal fest, or really hard, maybe? What we were going for was 'edge.' Every band that was there had some kind of edge. And it didn't matter what genre they were in. I won't say every band, but that's the vibe we were going for. Maybe it needed to be a little more secular. How do festivals get big? I don't know. If it's billed as the hippie festival, do all the hippies come? If it's billed as the death metal fest, do all the death metal people come?

"And who knows? Maybe it was us attaching our name. It's, like, 'Ah, it's their festival. I don't want to go.' I have no idea! Are we putting too much importance on our name? If we opened up the Metallica hamburger stand over there, would more people come or fewer people come because they like us or don't like us? Are their opinions influenced by our moniker on there?”.

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