Metallica has canceled its headlining performances at the Sonic Temple Festival in Columbus, Ohio on May 15th and 17th and the Louder Than Life event in Louisville, Kentucky on September 18th and 20th, so that frontman James Hetfield can continue his recovery after re-entering rehab last fall.

Red Hot Chili Peppers will now headline on Friday, May 17th while Tool will close the show on Sunday, May 17th, joining Saturday night's (May 16th) headliners Slipknot.

Hetfield posted an open letter on the official Metallica website in which he said about the canceled dates, “As part of my continuing effort to get and stay healthy, I have critical recovery events on those weekends that cannot be moved. I apologize to all of our fans who have bought tickets for these festivals. We are working with the festival promoters to provide for refunds or exchanges.”

Hetfield continued, “My intent with this statement is saying 'I apologize' to each one of you. The reality is that I have not prioritized my health in the past year of touring and I now know that my mental health comes first. That might sound like a no-brainer for most of you but I didn’t want to let the Metallica team/family down and, I alone, completely compromised myself.”

The singer/guitarist added, “Looking on the brighter side, my therapy is going well. It was absolutely necessary for me to look after my mental, physical, and spiritual health.”

Hetfield concluded, “Beyond 2020, I am optimistic about the blessings I have been given and what the future brings. I appreciate all the great prayers and support from everyone since I went into rehab last September. Like the moth into the flame, being human in this career has its huge challenges and can be difficult. Your understanding helps the healing.”

The musician stressed that Metallica will play all other announced 2020 shows, including an April run in South America, the Epicenter Festival in Charlotte on May 1st and 3rd, Welcome To Rockville in Daytona on May 8th and 10th and Aftershock in Sacramento on October 9th and 11th. The band will play two unique sets at each of those three festivals as previously promised.