Sure, they say it every year: This summer’s Ozzfest will be like none that came before.
But this time, it’s true: Admission will be free. Yes, free.
At a press conference held in Los Angeles Tuesday afternoon (February
6), festival co-founder Sharon Osbourne announced that, in response to
the ever-escalating costs of concert tickets, admission to this year’s
Ozzfest – which will be headlined by Ozzy Osbourne – won’t cost fans a
“For the last few years, ticket prices have steadily climbed
as artists demand more and more money for summer tours,” she said in a
statement. “We certainly want everybody to make money, however we also
want the kids to be able to afford to come out and have an incredible
experience. If we continued with the traditional touring-festival
model, we would have no choice but to raise ticket prices again this
As part of the announcement, which a press release promises
“will forever mark the year Ozzfest spiked the concert industry’s punch
and gave every headbanging American kid a reason to strap on an air
guitar,” Osbourne and the fest’s producer, Live Nation, said they will
support their new business model by calling on sponsors to provide
“This summer’s Ozzfest will provide select sponsors with a
unique opportunity to engage fans one-on-one, utilizing one of music’s
best-known brands,” reads the release.
“We’re reaching the same point we did years ago when kids no
longer wanted to pay for overpriced CDs,” Sharon Osbourne said. “As a
result, they found alternative ways of getting music. That’s what’s
happening with summer touring in this country, it’s out-pricing itself.
We started this and we want to keep it and we want to make it bigger
and bigger each year by getting bigger sponsors to be involved with the
festival and underwriting the festival. That’s what it’s about.”
Ozzfest will launch in Los Angeles on July 7, and make stops
in San Francisco; Seattle; Denver; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Phoenix;
Dallas; Chicago; Pittsburgh; New York; Boston; Philadelphia; Hartford,
Connecticut; Charlotte, North Carolina; Atlanta; West Palm Beach,
Florida; and Nashville. A full list of confirmed cities and dates is
expected to be released soon.
Apart from announcing Ozzy Osbourne as this year’s mainstage
headliner (and that he’ll be performing material from his forthcoming
studio LP), no further performer announcements were made.
In order to get inside Ozzfest this summer, fans will need to
visit the tour’s Web site, “to find links that will direct them to
special sponsor sites where tickets can be secured,” according to the
release. More details regarding the process will be revealed in the
Sharon Osbourne said that, while the rest of the bill’s being
firmed up, “we’re hoping that after today’s announcement, we’ll have a
whole influx of artists who want to be a part of something this
groundbreaking. We know there aren’t any major headlining acts that
would tour all summer for nothing, but we’re confident we can turn some
of the genre’s biggest bands on to what we’re doing and have them come
out to play a date or two. If they’re in town and want the rush of
performing in front of 20,000 frenzied kids, they’re more than welcome
to join us. They can sell their T-shirts, CDs, and whatever else