Metallica have finally been confirmed as the final headline act at this year's Glastonbury festival, following weeks of rumours that a deal had been done.
CONFIRMED: Metallica to headline Glastonbury
Hetfield and co finally confirmed to play Pyramid Stage – but tickets are already sold out
The thrash giants will play the Pyramid Stage on Saturday, June 28, between fellow bill-toppers Kasabian and Arcade Fire – but tickets have already sold out after the last batch was released at the end of April. A small number of returned tickets will go on sale via SeeTickets on May 12, but won't be announced.
The band say in a statement: "We’ve made no secret that there was still one live music festival on our wish list that has eluded us... until now! There is such a vibe at Glastonbury and it's maybe the most quintessentially English festival, so when we finally got that call to visit Worthy Farm, we just had to reply with a resounding 'Yes!'"
Promoter Michael Eavis recently promised the last headliner would be "one of the biggest-selling bands in the world at the moment" but that he wasn't allowed to name them for "contractual reasons."
Now he says: "I'm so pleased to have them – Metallica are one of the most popular bands in the world! And they really are a phenomenal live act. All through the years, people keen asking me, 'When are Metallica going to play?' There's a huge swathe of people who love them to bits."
Answering criticisms that James Hetfield and co might be a bad match for his event, Eavis counters: "But we're a music festival. We've never limited ourselves to one particular genre and we've had pretty much everything over the years – including rockier acts like Rage Against The Machine, who were just incredible here in 1994.
"We try very hard to give our crowd the biggest and best acts that are out there at any given time. So when we heard that one of the most popular bands in the world was desperate to play here, we phoned them back."
Drummer Lars Ulrich last year admitted: "We’ve been fortunate enough to play every other festival on this planet numerous times, so Glastonbury is the only one that’s eluding us.” Their potential appearance was used as an April Fool story by eFestivals.com – who claimed they'd deliver a set of Kate Bush songs.
Metallica are already headlining Sonisphere at Knebworth Park on July 4-6, where they'll play a set of requests made by ticket-holders. Bosses of the Knebworth 40th anniversary event say: "It was only last week that the band were officially asked to headline the Pyramid Stage. They immediately asked Team Sonisphere what we thought about releasing them from their exclusive appearance at Sonisphere. Glastonbury is an institution and the pinnacle of performance for any artist in the UK and we know the band will be amazing!
"But remember Glastonbury is already a sell-out, and so the only chance to buy a ticket to see Metallica in the UK is at Sonisphere."
The band this week announced their Snake Pit would reappear for their European summer shows, and offered fan club members the chance to win passes, saying: "It's not 1992… it's not even 2012, but the Snake Pit is back for another run and we want Met Club members to be right there closest to the stage!"
Ulrich last month reported that work on the follow-up to their 2008 album Death Magnetic was proceeding well.
Find out more about Glastonbury 2014.