Metallica To Headline Five Danny Wimmer Presents Fests In 2020
Tim Mosenfelder / Getty Images – Metallica
Master of Tickets: Metallica, which ranked third on Pollstar’s Q3 Top 100 Worldwide Artists chart with nearly 1.6 million tickets sold, performs during the “S&M2” concert at the opening night of Chase Center in San Francisco Sept. 6.
Independent festival producer Danny Wimmer Presents has announced Metallica as the headliner for all five of its hard rock festivals it will be producing in 2020, with two different sets for each festival.
The DWP events that will get a taste of Metallica in 2020 are: Epicenter in Charlotte, N.C., May 1-3; Welcome To Rockville May 8-10 in Daytona Beach, Fla.; Sonic Temple May 15-17 in Columbus, Ohio; Louder Than Life Sept. 18-20 in Louisville, Ky.; and Aftershock Oct. 9-11 in Sacramento, Calif.
Metallica will perform two sets at each event, and DWP promises these will be the only chances to see Metallica at U.S. festivals in 2020. The band will also vary its set list at each performance, meaning 10 different sets throughout the festival series.
“Metallica isn’t just another headliner. When Metallica takes the stage, it’s an event. It’s an experience. That’s the same standard we’ve set for every DWP festival – from the first band to the last band, and everything that happens in between. I can’t wait to bring the biggest band in the world to the biggest rock festivals in America,” Danny Wimmer, founder of Danny Wimmer Presents, said in a statement. “Metallica paved this road that we travel. How many artists on the bill at these five festivals first picked up an instrument, or first started a band, because of Metallica?”
Tickets for all events are available now for fan club members and attendees of former DWP events. The general onsale begins Oct. 14 at 9 a.m. PST.
Metallica frontman James Hetfield recently checked into rehab, forcing the postponement of its upcoming dates in Australia and New Zealand, but the festival booking, as well as its upcoming South American dates with Greta Van Fleet, indicates Hetfield expects to be better by spring of next year.
Pollstar recently featured Metallica on its cover, making the case for the metal Gods as being perhaps the biggest band in the world. For the story, drummer Lars Ulrich explained the band’s recent touring schedule: “The touring environment is just so much healthier than it was. Also, obviously the festival experience now means that you can rotate between playing indoor, arena level shows and then you can play sort of stadium shows and then you can play festivals. So we quite comfortably rotate between those three different experiences. And for the audience, the fans in those particular cities get a chance to see us in different size buildings and also at festivals.”
For each ticket sold through Nov. 19, Danny Wimmer Presents will donate 25 cents to Metallica’s All Within My Hands Foundation. AWMH is a non-profit, philanthropic organization created by the members and management of Metallica, dedicated to creating sustainable communities by supporting workforce education, the fight against hunger, and other critical local services. 100% of donations go directly to local organizations that the Foundation supports.
The announcement is extra notable in that Metallica has seemingly elected to play only DWP festivals in 2020, known for large rock festivals mostly in secondary and tertiary markets, while Metallica has played some of the continent’s biggest urban festivals, including Outside Lands in San Francisco, Global Citizen Festival in New York, Lollapalooza in Chicago, and Austin City Limits Music Festival in Texas.
While Metallica is doing all of DWP’s major rock festivals this year, there are other DWP events to find headliners for, such as Bourbon & Beyond, which attracted 91,000 fans to the Highland Festival Grounds KY Expo Center in Louisville Sept. 20-22, a third-year event topped by Foo Fights, Robert Plant , Zac Brown Band and many others, billed as the biggest bourbon festival in the world.
Metallica played at Rock On The Range – DWP’s previous Columbus, Ohio, collaboration with AEG Presents – in 2017. After the partnership between the promoters on the “World’s Loudest Month” concert series ended in 2018, AEG sued DWP for allegedly withdrawing from their partnerships on Rock On The Range and Carolina Rebellion, claiming Wimmer refused to be bought out or to buy out AEG’s shares in the events, and then created competing events.
“We were trying to make 2019 happen with them,” DWP CEO Danny Hayes told Pollstar in response to the suit. “We hit that point of no return where you have to lock in venues and make offers to bands or there’s going to be no festival. The bands were saying, ‘Guys, if you don’t make offers soon, we’re going to have to go somewhere else.’ So we went to AEG and said, ‘What do you want to do?’ … Are we making offers on behalf of DWP or are we making them on behalf of DWP and AEG?’ At that moment we couldn’t make a deal, so I said ‘that’s too bad.’”
Danny Wimmer was honored this year in Pollstar’s inaugural Impact 50 list, having established his company as a mainstay in rock festival world in the Midwest and beyond.
This year’s Aftershock is scheduled to start tomorrow at Discovery Park in Sacramento, featuring Slipknot, Staind, Lamb Of God, Blink-182, Rob Zombie, Tool and Korn.
The announcement that Aftershock this year would serve Metallica’s Blackened Whiskey and Enter Night Pilsner may have given a clue to next year’s headliner announcement.