Cancelled Metallica concert disappoints businesses as well as fans

Rock band Metallica were due to play in Auckland tonight and Saturday, but that was before their lead singer went into rehab.

It's not just fans who are disappointed, businesses are also affected and in some cases are out tens of thousands of dollars

One Auckland beer seller brought their 'Enter Night' pilsner to New Zealand to sell at the band's two Mount Smart concerts.

"There's a lot of Metallica fans and they love Metallica - we thought they'd jump at the chance to drink a Metallica beer," says Matt Eats of Beer Jerk.

But then lead singer James Hetfield, who has battled with alcoholism, went into rehab and Metallica's tour was cancelled.

That left Beer Jerk with a lot of beer, and nobody to drink it.

"We leveraged ourselves pretty hard to be able to bring this in and we only have three full-time staff here, we're a tiny little operation, so shifting this volume of beer is a pretty intimidating challenge," says Eats.

It was their largest-ever international order, and while liquor stores have agreed to take some, they'll still can't sell the bulk of it.

There's more than 500 cases of beer in all. That's more than 12,000 individual beers. And at $8 a pop there's tens of thousands of dollars worth.

It highlights the fact that it's not just fans affected by cancelled gigs, there's a forgotten side - the businesses that make money from musicians' visits.

The Studio on Auckland's Karangahape Road faces similar issues when bands pull out of booked shows.

They don't get the deposit back, but The Studio itself also misses out on expected drinks sales.

But the owners say that's just life.

"People do cancel," says The Studio's John Grant. "You can't get all grumpy with them. Everyone's got to help each other.

Beer Jerk say they won't make the same mistake twice.

"How we will deal with cancellations in the future is something we're definitely going to be mindful of," says Eats.

And if they can't sell it, they might have to down more than four boxes a day, before it expires next September.