"We are devastated that we have inconvenienced so many of you..."

Metallica has been forced to cancel a number of Australian and New Zealand tour dates.

Frontman James Hetfield has decided to enter a treatment program to work on his recovery from addiction, with the band deciding to take a break to give him time to find focus.

As a result, upcoming dates in the Southern Hemisphere have been pulled, although Metallica do promise to return as quickly as they can.

A statement reads:

We are truly sorry to inform our fans and friends that we must postpone our upcoming tour of Australia and New Zealand. As most of you probably know, our brother James has been struggling with addiction on and off for many years. He has now, unfortunately, had to re-enter a treatment program to work on his recovery again.

We fully intend to make our way to your part of the world as soon as health and schedule permit. We’ll let you know as soon as we can. Once again, we are devastated that we have inconvenienced so many of you, especially our most loyal fans who travel great distances to experience our shows. We appreciate your understanding and support for James & thank you for being a part of our Metallica family.

All tickets purchased to the shows in Australia and New Zealand, including Enhanced Experiences and Black Tickets, will be fully refunded.

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