Ozzy Osbourne, System of a Down, P.O.D. and the new band featuring former Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell and Rage Against the Machine members Tim Commerford, Tom Morello and Brad Wilk are among the groups slated to take the main stage when this summer’s Ozzfest kicks off on July 6, Ozzy’s manager/wife, Sharon Osbourne, told MTV News on Tuesday.
They’ll be joined by Drowning Pool and mainstage openers Zakk Wylde’s Black Label Society and Adema. Meanwhile, Rob Zombie, an Ozzfest main stage veteran, will headline the second stage, which this year promises to be larger, with a stripped-down set.
A press conference was held on Thursday (March 21) to announce the lineup and routing, as well as Ozzfest’s promotional partnership with the World Wrestling Federation, the tour’s chief sponsor. The corporate synergy will result in pro wrestlers – including Triple H, who attended the press conference – appearing at tour stops to announce artists, and a special booth erected in the Village of the Damned concession area where rockers and wrestlers will give autographs to fans.
“On the opening night, Ozzy and I have a cage match scheduled,” Triple H joked at the conference when asked what other rock-and-wrestling connections could be expected.
The trek begins in Bristow, Virginia, and traverses the East Coast before cutting through the Midwest to cruise the West Coast in late August. The 27-date tour winds down in the Southwest and draws to a close September 8 in Dallas.
Reigning in the revamped Rage – who are still without a name or a target album date – was quite the coup, given that the group’s Ozzfest performances will likely provide the first tastes of a project that’s been buzzed about since the two camps first jammed together last year.
“They wanted to work with Ozzy,” Sharon said. “They want to be in the same show as Ozzy, so it was really easy. We wanted them. We love the band. Ozzy is a huge fan.”
“Chris Cornell is my favorite singer,” Ozzy said. “I think he’s a great, great vocalist.”
“And also just looking at it [from a business perspective], it’s so smart for them to come right off the bat,” added Ozzy’s son Jack, who has assisted in determining the Ozzfest roster for the past few years, “from nothing to be playing at Ozzfest straight off.”
“It works for everyone,” Sharon concluded.
Progressive Swedish metalheads Meshuggah (a Jack selection) lead the second and third stage acts, which also include Apex Theory, Lost Prophets, Pulse Ultra and Neurotica. Performing on select dates will be Flaw, Mushroomhead, 3rd Strike, Otep, Seether, Glassjaw, Used, Soil, Ill Nino and Chevelle.
This year’s lineup features a cavalcade of Ozzfest vets, including System of a Down, P.O.D., Rob Zombie, Drowning Pool, Black Label Society and of course, Ozzy himself. While it may seem like a repackaged package tour, at the press conference Sharon said the familiar faces graduating up the ranks of the Ozzfest stage hierarchy is all part of the artists’ development, a process that includes fans as much as the tour organizers.
“Take a band like Drowning Pool,” she said. “On the first part of Ozzfest last year, they didn’t even have a record out. Their record came out after the first four weeks of Ozzfest and instantly charted. We look at them as part of Ozzfest. They were on the third stage last year and played for 20 minutes, and they became a huge success. So now… after selling [just over a million] albums, kids can see them play for 45 minutes on a huge stage; it’s just the growth. And kids like to see that growth because those kids were part of making these bands. It’s the same with P.O.D.
“When System first did Ozzfest, they sold maybe 20,000 copies. Their [new] record has sold [almost] 2 million. So to see them grow is amazing.”
Ozzfest 2002 Dates, According To The Tour’s Publicist:
7/6 – Bristow, VA – Nissan Pavilion
7/7 – Burgettstown, PA – Post-Gazette Pavilion
7/10 – Wantagh, NY – Jones Beach Amphitheatre
7/12 – Camden, NJ – Tweeter Center at the Waterfront
7/13 – Hartford, CT – ctnow.com Meadows Music
7/16 – Mansfield, MA – Tweeter Center
7/19 – Holmdel, NJ – PNC Bank Arts Center
7/24 – Raleigh, NC – Alltel Pavilion
7/26 – West Palm Beach, FL – Mars Music Amphitheatre
7/28 – Atlanta, GA – Hi-Fi Buys Amphitheatre
8/3 – Columbus, OH – Polaris Amphitheatre
8/4 – Indianapolis, IN – Verizon Amphitheatre
8/10 – Tinley Park, IL – Tweeter Center
8/11 – East Troy, WI – Alpine Valley
8/13 – Cleveland, OH – Blossom Music Center
8/15 – Cincinnati, OH – Riverbend Amphitheatre
8/17 – Somerset, WI – Float-Rite Park
8/19 – St. Louis, MO – Riverport Amphitheatre
8/20 – Bonner Springs, KS – Sandstone Amphitheatre
8/22 – Denver, CO – Pepsi Center
8/25 – Sacramento, CA – Sacramento Valley Amphitheatre
8/27 – George, WA – The Gorge
8/29 – Mountain View, CA – Shoreline Amphitheatre
8/31 – San Bernardino, CA – Glen Helen Blockbuster Pavilion