News Segment


July 6, 2007

NEW YORK – If metal fans were pleased to get tickets to this year’s free Ozzfest in the first place, Sharon Osbourne and the tour’s other organizers are hatching plans to make them even happier once they get in the door.

Osbourne, the wife and manager of tour namesake Ozzy Osbourne, told that about 3,000 tickets for each of the 24 shows — which begin Thursday in Auburn, Wash. — have been held back in order to provide upgraded seating for fans. Those will include reserved pavilion locations and even some seats that are actually on the stage, she said.

“On the day of the show you can get to different booths, enter a lottery and get upgraded,” Osbourne said. “We’ll be upgrading throughout the day, 3,000 people. That’s a lot of people to upgrade.”

Osbourne added that the upgrades will be handled in a manner that places a premium on arriving early for the show, although this year’s Ozzfest will begin at noon, rather than the 10 a.m. or earlier, as in previous years. Doors will open at 10:30 a.m.

Osbourne said she’s “really happy and also relieved” that ticket distribution for Ozzfest ’07, through the sponsor and tour web sites, “went so smoothly.”

But as pleased as Osbourne is with the tour’s sponsors, especially mainstays such as Monster energy drink and Jagermeister, she’s disappointed — make that extremely annoyed — with those that bailed out, specifically Trojan condoms, Camel cigarettes and Sony PlayStation.

“They told me I was belittling music and I wouldn’t be getting any good bands because it was free,” Osbourne said. “Can you believe Camel had the gall to say that — they’re killing people with their cancer sticks and they’re telling me I won’t get the good bands because the show’s free. I will be having a booth that says ‘Don’t Smoke Camels.'”

Osbourne said she’s pleased that Ozzy will be back headlining the entire Ozzfest run this year after playing limited dates in 2006. “It just legitimizes it,” she said. “It’s his name up there. He’s the godfather … the icon figure.” And while the tour will be promoting Ozzy’s latest album, “Black Rain,” she said talks are ongoing about a Black Sabbath reunion in 2008.

“We’re definitely talking to the guys, just talking,” she said. “I think when they finish their (Heaven & Hell with Ronnie James Dio) tour and we finish (Ozzfest), we can sit down and spend more time on it.”

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