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Metallica’s Countdown Clock Finally Hit Zero

James Hetfield of Metallica
of Metallica performs onstage at the Rose Bowl on July 29, 2017 in Pasadena, California.

This story, originally published October 7, was updated on October 10.

Metallica baffled fans on Sunday, October 6, when the band tweeted the URL to with no comment. The website features a countdown clock on a black background and literally nothing else.

The clock will hit 0 at about Thursday, October, 10, noon ET.

The lack of information has led to considerable fan speculation. One of the more popular guesses? The release of S&M2, the concert film featuring Metallica’s set with the San Francisco Symphony, which is scheduled to hit theaters … October 9. As several fans pointed out, the timing is a bit off for it to be about the film. But there were guesses that it could be related to this particular theatrical release, including a potential live album announcement.

One fan also pointed out that the first S&M live album dropped November 23, 1999, and that the announcement could be the 20th anniversary reissue of the record. That would make sense, considering XX is 20 in Roman numerals.

Some speculated (perhaps a little too hopefully) that it could be the announcement of rescheduled tour dates. Metallica postponed numerous Australia and New Zealand shows after announcing on September 27 that frontman James Hetfield was entering rehab again to address his issues with substance abuse. “Our brother James has been struggling with addiction on and off for many years,” the band explained in a statement posted to Instagram. “He has now unfortunately had to re-enter a treatment program to work on his recovery again.”

Another suggested that perhaps the band would announce that they’re playing Florida’s Rockville Festival, which is scheduled for May 8-10, 2020.

Fans finally got their answer (a few hours later than originally expected) on October 10, when dropped the countdown clock and made the big reveal, and it turns out that last guess was spot on. Metallica will be headlining five rock festivals—including Rockville— in 2020, and are set to play two different nights with two different sets per festival. And to sweeten the announcement, Metallica is offering a Willy Wonka-like golden ticket contest. The winner and one guest will be treated like rockstars with an all-expenses paid trip to one of the festivals. Tickets are on sale now for fan club members, and the general public can buy them Monday, October 14.

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