(CelebrityAccess News Service) – The ninth annual OZZfest is set for this summer starring Ozzy Osbourne, Judas Priest, Slayer, Slipknot and others for 26 shows beginning July 10 in Hartford, CT. The your will feature 20 bands, 525 crew members and 40 buses in 13½ hours of music.
"The day OZZfest comes to town is the best day of summer for hardcore fans of hard rock and metal music," says OZZfest founder Sharon Osbourne. "They know they're getting value beyond what they paid for. The music starts at 9:30 a.m. and doesn't stop until Ozzy leaves the stage at 11:00 p.m. What they get is 20-plus bands, 13 and a half hours of non-stop music on two stages, and enough rock insanity to last them until the next year for about the same amount they'd pay to get into [Six Flags] Magic Mountain. And seeing Ozzy onstage is a better ride than any fucking rollercoaster."
It's the attention to its fans that makes OZZfest so popular – it was recently voted the "#2 Tour of 2003" by the readers of Rolling Stone. In fact, fans helped choose the second-stage acts for OZZfest 2004, with more than 65,000 responding in the first weekend to a poll at www.ozzfest.com.
As in previous incarnations, OZZfest 2004 will present two stages, with The Iron Man Of Rock And Roll, Ozzy Osbourne, headlining the main stage. The lineup includes the much-anticipated Judas Priest reunion, featuring Rob Halford; metal titans Slayer and Slipknot; Norwegian black-metal maniacs Dimmu Borgir; and fan favorites Superjoint Ritual (featuring Phil Anselmo of Pantera) and Black Label Society (fronted by Ozzy guitarist Zakk Wylde).
Among the newer bands who scored well on the www.ozzfest.com poll and earned a spot on the second stage were Hatebreed, Lamb Of God and Lacuna Coil. This year's second-stage headliners, Slipknot, will also be joined by God Forbid, Bleeding Through, Atreyu, Every Time I Die and Unearth. Further lineup inclusions will be announced shortly.
"We've been around for nearly a decade because we listen to the fans and stay true to the genre," says Jane Holman, longtime producer of OZZfest (she has been involved since 1997) and vice president of Clear Channel Entertainment. "We don't make the mistake of trying to be all things to all people."M/P>
Longevity is measured in numbers as well as fan response to authenticity, and when it comes to OZZfest, success has bred success. According to Billboard: "Since its inaugural run in 1996, OZZfest has grossed a staggering $146.5 million from 236 shows that have drawn 3.8 million headbangers, primarily to outdoor amphitheaters" (Dec. 20, 2003).
Miller is the official beer of OZZfest backstage, and the company will be hosting a tent backstage for artists and a select group of sweepstakes winners. Jagermeister, also a player in 2004, has been very supportive over the years. Hot Topic will host the second stage again and will be the tour's official soft-lines retail partner. FYE, For Your Entertainment, joins OZZfest for a fourth year as official music retailer and will host the Artist Autograph Tent. Trojan Brand Condoms are another key sponsor. New this year on OZZfest is Ozzfest Radio, powered by KNAC.com, "The Loudest Dot Com On The Planet." OZZfest Radio will feature round the clock streaming of past and present OZZfest performers. –Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen