Metallica to headline Glastonbury

Veteran thrashers become first heavy metal band to headline the festival

James Hetfield (left) and Kirk Hammett of Metallica performing during the Live Earth Concert at Wembley Stadium. The veteran US rockers have been announced as the Saturday night headliners for this year’s Glastonbury festival. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA Wire

James Hetfield (left) and Kirk Hammett of Metallica performing during the Live Earth Concert at Wembley Stadium. The veteran US rockers have been announced as the Saturday night headliners for this year’s Glastonbury festival. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Fri, May 9, 2014, 12:41

Metallica have become the first heavy metal band to headline Glastonbury.

The announcement was made this morning by Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis who said he had wanted to book the band for years.

Metallica will headline the prestigious Saturday night slot at Glastonbury on June 28th. The other headliners are Kasabian and Arcade Fire.

Eavis told BBC 6 Music’s Matt Everitt: “(Metallica) wanted to play for a long, long time and they’re one of the most amazing rock bands in the world, everywhere I go people say ‘When are Metallica going to play?’ I said, ‘They will be here one day’ and this is their time now.”

Glastonbury has traditionally shied away from booking metal acts mostly because acts such as Metallica usually headline hard rock festivals such as Download or Sonisphere.

Drummer Lars Ulrich said Glastonbury was the one festival that had eluded them over the years and that they would have the challenge of winning over a sceptical audience.

He told the Guardian: “ Isn’t it wonderful, 33 years in, to be able to place yourself in situations where that’s even a distinct possibility that you actually have to go and, like you say, win people over?”

“I don’t know if the competitive fire burns with quite the same spark as it did 20 years ago, so I don’t know if we’re as concerned about that stuff as we used to be. But obviously, playing to any people who may not be overly familiar with what you’re doing is always interesting.”

Metallica were one of the pioneers of thrash metal which emerged in the early 1980s from the Bay Area of San Francisco. They produced a quartet of albums, Kill ‘Em All, Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets and And Justice for All which are among the best metal albums of all time, but transcended the genre with the release of their fifth album, known as the Black album which gave them mainstream success with the singles Enter Sandman and Nothing Else Matters.

In 2003 they featured in the documentary Some Kind of Monster which showed the band in the throes of an existential breakdown while making the ill-fated album St Anger.

They survived the crisis. Their last studio album Death Magnetic was released in 2009.