Band in a rush: Metallica aims to beat euro crisis

Wed Dec 7, 2011 12:02pm EST
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By Mike Collett-White

LONDON (Reuters) - Heavy metal titans Metallica could have visited Europe in 2012 or 2013. A look at the euro crisis was enough to make up their minds -- the sooner the better.

The U.S. band whose hits include "Master of Puppets" and "Enter Sandman" has committed to six dates on what it calls its "European Summer Vacation," taking in Norway, Germany, Denmark, England and Austria during May and June next year.

"In the case of Metallica we are going to play two weeks' worth of gigs in 2012 that we probably could have played at any time," band manager Peter Mensch said.

"But (we) feared that we would be losing ... money on the table by waiting," he told Reuters in a telephone interview.

Managers often take economic factors into account when deciding when and where an act should play, Mensch explained, and Metallica's decision on Europe was no exception.

A tour costs millions of dollars to stage, and the outlays in Europe can be 30-40 percent higher than those in the United States, making sound financial decisions even more important.

European music fans need not panic yet -- most major acts will continue to play the region due to its economic and cultural importance.

But a crowd that was once 52,000 may shrink to, say, 45,000, and ticket prices may have to be slashed to reflect people's reduced spending power, Mensch warned.   Continued...