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Metallica’s Lars Ulrich: ‘Hopefully’ Orion Music + More Festival Will Return in 2018 or 2019

Theo Wargo, Getty Images
Theo Wargo, Getty Images

Metallica are a band never shy of pulling the trigger on ambitious and costly ventures. The band had previously launched their own music festival in 2012, dubbed Orion Music + More, which featured an incredibly diverse lineup. Both the 2012 and 2013 editions were a financial disaster, leading the thrash vets to withdraw the event. Drummer Lars Ulrich, however, is hoping Metallica can revisit this idea and bring the festival back in either 2018 or 2019.

Ulrich spoke with iHeartRadio (transcription via Blabbermouth), who asked if there was a possibility of the Orion festival returning in the near future. “Hopefully, yeah. Hopefully,” the drummer said, continuing, “We sort of put that on the back burner when we dove into [Hardwired… To Self-Destruct]. But I think that we’re gonna tour for years on this record. We just put most of ’17 together, but we’ll be out on this baby at least up through ’19, would be my guess. So I think we’ll try to get another Orion in. We did two Orions in the States. Maybe do one in Europe, maybe look at Canada, maybe look at Mexico, just to vary it a little bit.”

Discussing possible changes to their festival formula, Ulrich mentioned there’s consideration of making the event smaller with more of a central focus on Metallica. “Maybe it’s just Metallica and some stuff, like museum stuff and just maybe making it only Metallica for a whole weekend, but making it smaller. We haven’t really dialed it yet, but we’re looking at all the different options,” the sticksman stated.

“Listen, obviously, anybody that knows the members of Metallica knows that our tastes are far and wide and we’re not… we don’t live and breathe metal 24 hours a day,” Ulrich responded when asked if the diverse bill possibly doomed the festival’s chance of success. He mentioned some were surprised that Metallica’s taste in music is broad, “but the people that really know Metallica” understand metal around the clock “is not really our thing so much.”

“So we’ll see how it plays out,” Ulrich went on. “Right now we’ve got a pretty active ’17 lined up, but I think hopefully Orion will come back maybe in ’18 or ’19, so we’ll see.”

In December of 2015, frontman James Hetfield spoke candidly about the financial disaster of the two Orion Music + More festivals, acknowledging the band “lost millions [of dollars] both times.” Openly questioning why the fest wasn’t a success, he wondered, “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.”

See Where Metallica’s Hardwired… To Self-Destruct Ranks Among the 20 Best Metal Albums of 2016

10 Unforgettable Lars Ulrich Moments

See Lars Ulrich in the Top 66 Hard Rock + Metal Drummers of All Time

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