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Editorial press release | Oceanwide Expeditions heads south with Metallica

by Oceanwide Expeditions Blog

First Antarctic rock concert. The Dutch company will provide accommodation and transportation with her ice-strengthened vessel “Ortelius”.
Antarctic Peninsula

Hetfield (left) and Kirk Hammett enjoying a Metallica concert in Budapest, Hungary. Copyright: Dreamstime, by Frenc

World’s leading Polar expedition operator Oceanwide Expeditions is heading south for rock band Metallica’s first concert on Antarctica. The Dutch company will provide accommodation and transportation with her ice-strengthened vessel “Ortelius”.

m/v Ortelius in ice pack South ShetlandsM/v Ortelius at the South Shetland Islands © Oceanwide Expeditions

The concert will take place on 8 December on the Argentinean base Carlini in the South Shetland Islands. The audience will consist of fans from Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica and Mexico who enter a contest. Winners will receive an Antarctic cruise with Oceanwide’s passenger vessel “Ortelius” that will leave from Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, the southernmost tip of Argentina on 3 December.

Metallica: ambassadors of Antarctica

Oceanwide’s CEO Michel van Gessel is “extremely proud and is very excited to participate in this awesome project. Metallica is a great band and the opportunity to participate in this as a ship supplier and Antarctic operator is definitely the coolest experience ever. But, this is just not another sensational event, it is a fantastic opportunity to create awareness for Antarctica as one of the very last, pristine wildernesses on our planet. This concert will promote the uniqueness of the Polar Regions and Metallica and their fans will become ambassadors of Antarctica. This is important, we need ambassadors for Antarctica, a continent that should be protected for the future generations. There is no doubt that this concert will contribute to this goal. It is my aim to make Metallica member of the Oceanwide Expeditions Polar Ambassador Club”.

Guitarist Kirk Hammett of Metallica during a show in Moscone Center, 2011 Guitarist Kirk Hammett of Metallica during a show in Moscone Center, 2011. Copyright: Dreamstime, by Ian Paterson

Metallica is one of the leading rock bands in the world. "After 30 years as a band, we have been unbelievably fortunate to visit just about every corner of the earth. Except for one," says the band on their website. "That is all about to change as we are set to travel to Antarctica, the only continent that Metallica has never played on until now. We'll be playing inside a dome on the base and in another twist, the show will be transmitted to the audience via headphones with no amplification. A real first for us".


Recently, Metallica had been promoting their IMAX 3-D movie, Metallica: Through the Never. "Once we saw that we were financing it and how much it was gonna cost, I started thinking, 'We better make this pretty special”, frontman James Hetfield told Rolling Stone magazine about the film. "I don't know how many times we're going to be able to do this in our careers, but let's go the extra distance".

Arriving in the AntarcticZodiac landing © Oceanwide Expeditions

Although Oceanwide Expeditions has a permit for her ship based operation and standard land excursions through Dutch authorities, the organizers of the concert have separately complied with the Environmental Impact Assessment) according to the guidelines of the Antarctic Protection Protocol (Madrid Protocol).

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