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Old 12-03-2013, 02:57 PM
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Metallica's Orion music festival won't be back to Belle Isle in 2014

Metallica’s hard rock concert on Belle Isle is going silent.

The Orion Music + More festival will not return to Detroit in 2014, spokeswoman Shelby Meade confirmed today, six months after the two-day event drew an announced 20,000 daily attendance.

“We are simply on a pause for next year,” Meade said.

Texas promoter C3 Presents had a three-year agreement with the City of Detroit, including a first-year payout of $100,000 to the city. The contract gave leeway to either side to end the deal early, city officials told the Free Press earlier this year.

Metallica, which headlined an Orion lineup that included Red Hot Chili Peppers and Deftones, has in recent days announced a string of European tour dates for summer 2014.

The Belle Isle Conservancy was alerted to Metallica’s decision about two weeks ago, said board member Vance Patrick.

“They said it just didn’t go the way they expected it to,” said Patrick. “It’s unfortunate.”

Patrick said conservancy members were disappointed by the promoter’s restoration efforts on Belle Isle’s athletic fields, which it had agreed to restore to like-new condition. He said holes from equipment and trenches from heavy vehicles remain.

Still, the City of Detroit did not view that as a deal-breaker, Patrick said.

“Metallica quit on us — we didn’t quit on them,” he said.

C3 representatives declined comment on further Free Press questions.

Band members had emphasized ahead of the festival that they viewed Orion as a long-term investment, saying they were braced for several years of financial losses to get the event established.

“At the end of the day, it’s not about us making money,” lead singer James Hetfield said at a pre-fest news media event. “It’s about creating some sort of mark in history.”
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