It would appear that reports of Black Sabbath's retirement have been greatly exaggerated.
The original Black Sabbath lineup singer Ozzy Osbourne, bassist Geezer Butler, guitarist Tony Iommi and drummer Bill Ward will headline this year's Ozzfest tour, despite having played what were billed as farewell gigs more than a year ago. It will be Sabbath's third time in the headlining slot since they regrouped in 1997.
Their stint on the trek in 1999 plays a large part in the recent Ozzfest tour documentary "We Sold Our Souls for Rock 'n Roll," which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last month (see "3 Doors Down, More Make Musical Offerings At Sundance").
Marilyn Manson will also revisit the Ozzfest roster, making his first trip with the tour since Ozzfest's initial national excursion in 1997. During that tour, New Jersey's Meadowlands Arena threatened not to put tickets on sale unless Manson was removed from the bill. Faced with lawsuits by both Manson and Osbourne, the venue eventually dropped its case (see "Meadowlands Abandon Attempts To Stop Manson").
Rounding out the main-stage lineup will be Slipknot, Papa Roach, Disturbed and Linkin Park. Slipknot also played the tour in 1999, while Disturbed are repeat offenders from last year's bill. Bands occupying the second and third stages will be announced later.
Ozzfest will kick off June 8 at Chicago's World Theater, with approximately 30 other dates expected to follow, according to a tour spokesperson. Tickets for the Chicago show will go on sale in March.
The Windy City engagement is the first Black Sabbath gig since a pair of December 1999 farewell concerts in the group's hometown of Birmingham, England (see "Black Sabbath Plans Farewell Shows, Again").