All-time metal gods, longtime file-sharing opponents, and recent Lou Reed collaborators Metallica took to LiveStream this afternoon to announce Orion Music + More, a new summer festival in Atlantic City! The festival will take place on Saturday, June 23 and Sunday, June 24 at Bader Field, with the band headlining both nights. The group will play 1991's breakthrough Black Album in its entirety (for the first time ever in America) and will conclude the alternate night with their blistering 1984 second album Ride the Lightning in full.
In the LiveStream announcement, lead singer James Hetfield talked about how they named the festival: "Someone brought up the idea of having a tribute to [original Metallica bassist] Cliff [Burton]. Orion is Cliff’s musical statement." Burton died in 1986 when the band's tour bus overturned.
The band chose Atlantic City because, according to drummer Lars Ulrich, "there's a lot of fuck-off space there," meaning, I guess, you could wander around in a stupor unimpeded after your head is destroyed. “We wanted the biggest place possible cause we don’t know what’s really going to happen there,” said Hetfield. The band also mentioned that there'll be air-conditioned bathrooms!
The festival boasts an unbelievably diverse, metal-light lineup including Best Coast, Modest Mouse, Arctic Monkeys, Avenged Sevenfold and Liturgy. "Metallica is the greatest metal band of all time and we are beyond honored to be invited to take part in this festival," said Liturgy frontman Hunter Hunt-Hendrix. Referring to the lineup, Ulrich said, "There’s really only two kinds of music: great music and less great music.” Words of wisdom! This festival is going to be bananas.
As for whether this will be the start of a new annual tradition, the group is taking a wait-and-see approach. “We’re hoping this will be a wild success and we’ll be able to do this for years to come," said guitarist Kirk Hammett. Added Ulrich, "Yeah, jump and figure out where you'll land later."