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Metallica Orion Music + More Festival Promoter Talks Diverse Lineup

Valerie Macon, Getty Images

Metallica announced their own Orion Music + More Festival earlier this month, which offers an incredibly eclectic and not exactly metallic lineup. Drummer Lars Ulrich addressed the diversity of the bill immediately, since the band pretty much knew fans might be scratching their heads about a lineup featuring Metallica thrashing about alongside indie acts like Modest Mouse and Best Coast. Ulrich said, “If you took our four iPods and scanned through them, you’d find the biggest variety and diversity of music. So we’re trying to bring that spirit to the festival.” Festival promoter Charlie Walker of C3 also weighed in about the unexpected acts Metallica chose to feature.

The festival, to be held June 23 and 24 at Bader Field in Atlantic City, N.J., does boast some metal, with bands like Avenged Sevenfold, The Sword and Liturgy set to appear. More metal might be added down the road, along with more alt rock. Indeed, the festival will be a gateway for fans to find new bands, regardless of genre.

Walker, who has put together popular fests like Lollapalooza in Chicago and Austin City Limits, spoke about the value of diversity, which has headbanger’s raising their eyebrows, especially since many fans were confounded by the ‘Lulu’ album with Lou Reed.

“Whenever I see kids at Lollapalooza or ACL, they always tell me that one of their favorite parts of the festival is going out and seeing something might not have ordinarily seen or bought a ticket to, because they didn’t know enough about the band,” Walker told “It’s really about being wide open across everything from punk to country and having people exploring multiple genres and multiple types of bands.”

The fact that tried and true ‘Tallica fans might not know what to make up the lineup is not lost on the promoter, who said, “I’m sure some people have a vision of what they think it is because it’s Metallica, but I think they’ll have a different understanding of what it is after they come and see it.”

Walker also suggested that there is the possibility of adding even more metal to the package, saying, “I think we’ll try and stick with diversity. You’ll see some more hard rock bands, you’ll see some more alternative bands. We’re certainly not consciously trying to lean it hard rock or indie — we’re trying to make it balanced.”

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