METALLICA Was Directed Not To Disturb Penguins During Their Historic Antarctica Performance

Metallica Antarctica

When METALLICA performed their groundbreaking concert in Antarctica in 2013, they were explicitly asked not to disturb the local penguin population. This requirement was set in order to protect the local wildlife, which included a significant number of penguins in the area.

The band agreed to this stipulation and ensured that their performance did not cause any disruption to the Antarctic ecosystem. This was achieved by performing without any amplification, instead, the attendees of the concert wore headphones for a silent-disco style listening experience.

Reflecting on the concert in a recent episode of the podcast series, ‘Conan O’Brien Needs A Friend’, Ulrich provided some insight: “We got an offer from Coca Cola, they were doing a contest for Latin America, and they invited us to come down and play for contest winners on a Chilean Research Base In Antarctica. 

“And so we flew down. Talk about bringing different nationalities together, we were on a Russian icebreaker, anchored off a Chilean research base playing to Argentinian, Chilean and Brazilian Coca Cola contest winners in a space that was maybe twice of the room we’re in right now [a small space].”

“It was a tent that was set up and on top of that, everybody in the audience had headphones on because it was silent-disco style.”

Ulrich further explains their concert arrangement, saying: “Part of the deal was we couldn’t disturb the environment; the penguins and all the incredible wildlife down there. So the only thing you could hear in that tent were acoustic drums and James‘s [Hetfield] vocals.

“Everything amplified; the guitars, the bass, etc, were all going through boxes into everybody’s headphones. So you put all those elements together and that was one of the most unique three or four days ever.”

“And on top of it, the band members and all our wonderful crew and all the contest winners were staying on that icebreaker together,” he continued. “So it was a real communal experience and we all had our meals together and if anybody wanted a beverage post show, we’d go down the bar. It was one of the best trips we’ve ever had”.