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Metallica were billed $300k after fans "played frisbee" with venue cushions

Aug 21, 2023Aug 21, 2023

That’s one expensive game of frisbee…

Image: Julia Reinhart / Getty

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Metallica were once fined $300k for cushions that were destroyed by fans at Long Beach Arena in California, USA.

Drummer Lars Ulrich has shared how whenever the band would play there, fans would throw the cushions around the arena, leading to a very large bill landing on the band.

In an appearance on Conan O’Brien’s Needs A Friend podcast, Ulrich reflects on how the antics of the crowd led to the hefty bill.

“What are there 16,000 seats in there? We’ve paid for about 15,000 of those 16,000 seats over the years because every time we were playing Long Beach Arena, people would just take the cushion, you know, play frisbee with it inside the arena.”

He adds, “The next day [the venue staff] would be like, ‘Okay, Metallica, here’s those $300,000 worth of cushions that you have to pay for’.”

The very expensive games of frisbee eventually led to the band asking fans to stop on a radio station “multiple times”.

The drummer explains, “We had to go on KNAC [radio station] multiple times and go ‘Listen, whatever. You know, you’re our fans, and we’re your fans and we’re all in this together. We want you to have a good time and we support that. But understand one thing, if you think you’re rebelling against the building or rebelling against authority or rebelling against the man or whatever the f**k it is, do you think you’re rebellious? The only people you’re really rebelling against is Metallica’.”

Ulrich also remembers a show at the LA Coliseum where 40,000 folding chairs ended up onstage just a few songs into their show. He reflects, “At that time, things were maybe slightly more unpredictable about the physical elements of the makeup of the shows, and in front of the stage the whole lawn, the football field at the LA Coliseum was [made up of] all folding chairs.

“I don’t know if any of you would like to guess where 40,000 folding chairs ended up three songs into the set. Yeah. That’s right. All those – whatever there was – 30, 40,000 folding chairs ended up on stage. And so we had to stop the show.”

You can get tickets to see Metallica live via their website, but maybe don’t engage in any cushion frisbee or other chair-related havoc…

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