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Metallica Losing Money But Vow to Continue Orion Music + More Festival

Frazer Harrison, Getty Images

Metallica’s Orion Music + More festival appears to be a labor of love in these nascent years, as drummer Lars Ulrich has revealed that the band hasn’t made any money, much less broken even, with the event as of yet.

The second Orion fest is set for this weekend in Detroit, switching locations from Atlantic City, N.J. The two-day, weekend event sold 24,000 tickets in its first year, but when the numbers shook out, Metallica were in the red on the ledger sheets. “I wish we broke even last year,” the skins smasher told Business Week. “I’d obviously like to get into a situation where it’s not costing us, but that will probably be another couple of years away.” Despite operating at a loss, Metallica appear committed to putting on the fest and eventually being profitable, with Ulrich saying, “You’ve got to be in it for the long haul.”

Even though they lost money, Ulrich acknowledged that the band achieved what it set out to do. “What worked last year was a sense of intimacy and a sense of connection that we made with the fans,” he said. “There was a very cozy family spirit significantly different than other festivals we’ve played. If we treat this right over the next couple of years, maybe we’ll be able to establish a long-term type of thing.”

The band is also stoked to fill a void in the Motor City with the staging of this year’s event and the drummer indicated that Orion could return to the location in the future. “Detroit doesn’t really have a yearly festival and we have a lot of history there,” Ulrich said. “Detroit as a city itself has an incredible musical legacy. We feel this really has a shot at turning into something permanent here.”

Metallica just held their press conference for this weekend’s Orion Music + More Festival. To see James Hetfield, Robert Trujillo and other participants in the event speaking about their potential sets, Detroit as a setting, Orion’s future and more, watch the video below.

Watch the Orion Music + More Press Conference

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