Boy who petitioned for Metallica to visit New Zealand 'gutted' by postponement

The young boy who petitioned heavy metal band Metallica to come to New Zealand says the postponement of their show is "gutting".

Metallica, one of the biggest-selling and most enduring rock acts of the past 40 years, were to play at Auckland's Mt Smart Stadium on October 31 and November 2.

But frontman James Hetfield is heading back into rehab, the band said on Saturday.

"We are truly sorry to inform our fans and friends that we must postpone our upcoming tour of Australia and New Zealand," the rest of the band said in a statement.

"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.

The band still intends to eventually come to Kiwi shores, but 13-year-old William Bush - a massive fan of the band - says the postponement is still "gutting". 

"I found out about the cancellation today, it's gutting but hopefully they can come back and announce a new show soon," Bush told Newshub.

He said people who had tickets would be "frustrated and sad" but is hoping the band doesn't disappoint its fans and turns up one day.

"Hopefully we can get another show and then if that happens then I guess it's all good and it all turns out okay.

"It would be pretty sad if they can't come back after the show has already been announced but, I mean, that's life."

Boy who petitioned for Metallica to visit New Zealand 'gutted' by postponement
Photo credit: Newshub.

Prior to the announcement that Metallica was on its way, Bush launched a petition calling for the band to come to Aoteaora. It received more than 6000 signatures.

"The Bogans and Metalheads of our country have had an eight-year withdrawal and can't wait for the next time they'll get to see Metallica live in NZ."

"We believe this is long overdue and we deserve a Metallica Concert!"

In March, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern visited Bush to present him two tickets to the show.

"I just wanted to come and say, on behalf of a lot fans in New Zealand, William, thank you for the effort that you put into bringing Metallica to New Zealand in October," Ardern told Bush.

The young fan said he'd probably take either his brother or his dad to gig, prompting the Prime Minister to joke, "that's a bit awkward, because I'm sitting right here!" 

Fans who've already bought tickets to the postponed concerts will get full refunds - details are on the Live Nation website. 

Air New Zealand is offering options to customers who may be affected by the postponement, including allowing them to change their travel dates with fare penalties waived or cancel their flight and get credit usable for 12 months.

Jetstar told Newshub: "Metallica concertgoers will be able to request a credit voucher refund for their Jetstar booking as a result of the cancelled concerts."

Newshub.

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