Photo by Tim Saccenti
There just aren't many firsts for a band like Metallica however, the legends will end their 2023 by checking off a box very few metal bands will ever experience. Following a lengthy year of treking on their M72 World Tour, Metallica has been enlisted as the very first hard rock band to perform in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, anchoring the 2023 edition of Sandstorm Festival.
Kicking of December 14th, the three-day event which drew more than 600,000 attendees last year will feature performances from Pharrell Williams, Chris Brown, H.E.R., Black Eyed Peas, J Balvin,Tiesto and David Guetta to name just a few.
Revealing the news, Metallica issued the following statement to the fans.
“We’re not done with 2023 just yet, as an amazing opportunity has just come our way to perform at a major festival that we have never played in a part of the world we rarely get to visit. We’re excited to announce that on Thursday, December 14 we’ll be the first hard rock band to ever play at the Soundstorm Festival in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Launched in 2019, Soundstorm is a three-day festival featuring over 100 international artists, DJs, and musicians combining music, interactive performances, and art installations. Previous headliners have included Bruno Mars and Post Malone; this year’s lineup is star-studded with H.E.R., Black Eyed Peas, Calvin Harris, Pharrell & Phriends, J Balvin, Swedish House Mafia, and David Guetta, just a few of the artists appearing. We’re proud to represent rock music hitting the stage on the first night of the festival to make things just a tad heavier!”
The trek will mark the first time Metallica has ever performed in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The band first made their live debut in the Middle East back in 2011 when they played in Abu Dhabi. Metallica would return again in 2013. The confirmation of the set at Sandstorm in Saudi Arabia marks the band's return to the region in more than a decade.