Ozzfest Update, and the Black Sabbath Reunion

April 17 [14:00 EST] -- Ozzy Osbourne's 1997 Ozz-Fest will be initiated at the Nissan Pavillion in Bristow, Virginia, near Washington, DC, May 24th as opposed to the previously published starting date of May 25 in West Palm Beach, Florida. The travelling metal festival is produced by Osbourne and his manager/wife Sharon and anchored by a reunion of Black Sabbath and select appearances by Marilyn Manson.

The festival has also announced sponsorship from Best Buy. A promotion will see all concert goers invited to mail in their concert stubs to Best Buy along with a $3.95 handling fee to receive a 2-CD set of "more than 25 artists." The set is a special pressing not related to the live concert release out April 29 on Ozz Records featuring performances from last year's debut festivals in Phoenix and San Bernardino. At press time, no artists were confirmed for the CD with the exception of Ozzy himself.

Both Black Sabbath and the Ozzy Osborne band will be appearing on the

mainstage and neither appearance has been without controversy: Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler are reuniting without drummer Bill Ward, who complained to the press that he hadn't been asked.

Sharon Osbourne posted a message last week on a website related to Ward that said: "Bill was not asked to play on this bill due to inter-personal business conflicts between himself, me and Ozzy. It is a private issue that we have kept private out of respect to Bill. If Bill doesn't understand that we are only trying to protect him, we will announce the reason why he wasn't asked to do this tour." Mike Bordin from Faith No More will be behind the drum kit. (Faith No More has been known to do Sabbath covers, particularly "War Pigs".)

The set by the Ozzy Osbourne band will feature guitarist Joe Holmes, who has returned to the band after leaving for several weeks citing religious reasons. Other mainstage acts include Pantera, Type-O Negative, Fear Factory, Machinehead,

Powerman 5000 with Manson joining the tour for nine dates beginning with the Meadowlands in New Jersey June 15.

The second stage will feature Downset, Neurosis, Slo Burn, Drain STH, Coal Chamber and Vision of Disorder.

Here's how the tour shape's up:

  • 5/24 - Bristow, Virginia @ Nissan Pavilion
  • 5/26 - West Palm Beach, FL @ Coral Sky Pavilion
  • 5/28 - Charlotte, NC @ Charlotte Amphitheater
  • 5/31 - San Antonio, TX @ Alamodome
  • 6/1 - Dallas, TX @ Starplex
  • 6/3 - Cleveland, OH @ Blossom
  • 6/4 - Indianapolis, IN @ Deer Creek
  • 6/7 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Starlake Amphitheater
  • 6/8 - Philadelphia, PA @ Entertainment Center
  • 6/10 - St. Louis, MO @ Riverport
  • 6/12 - Detroit, MI @ Pine Knob Theater
  • 6/14 - Boston, MA @ Great Woods
  • 6/15 - East Rutherford, NJ @ Meadowlands (w/ Marilyn Manson)
  • 6/17 - Columbus, OH @ Polaris (w/ Marilyn Manson)
  • 6/19 - Chicago, IL @ World Amphitheater (w/ Marilyn Manson)
  • 6/21 - Milwaukee, WI @ Alpine

    Valley (w/ Marilyn Manson)

  • 6/22 - Minneapolis, MN @ Apple River Amphitheater (w/ Marilyn Manson)
  • 6/24 - Denver, CO @ Mile High Stadium (w/ Marilyn Manson)
  • 6/26 - Phoenix, AZ @ Desert Sky (w/ Marilyn Manson)
  • 6/28 - Las Vegas, NV @ Sam Boyd Silverbowl (w/ Marilyn Manson)
  • 6/29 - San Bernadino, CA @ Blockbuster Pavilion (w/ Marilyn Manson)