Marilyn Manson Bows Out Of Denver Ozzfest Date

Fest rep cites prior commitment, but sources close to tour tell newspaper perceived link to Columbine is behind cancellation.

When Ozzfest 2001 makes its way to Denver on June 22, one of the tour’s major attractions won’t be part of the festivities.

Controversy magnet Marilyn Manson will not be included in the multiband lineup due to a “prior commitment,” according to an Ozzfest spokesperson.

But the Denver Post reported Wednesday that sources involved with the tour claim a lingering idea that Manson’s music is connected to 1999′s Columbine High School shooting is the underlying cause for the cancellation.

The goth rocker’s departure isn’t news to Ozzfest organizers, who knew about his lack of participation for “a while,” the spokesperson said. Because Manson wasn’t included in any local advertising for the concert, no refunds will be made to disappointed Denver fans. Calls to the Denver branch of promoters SFX/Bill Graham Presents were unreturned at press time.

If a prior commitment is to blame, a spokesperson for Interscope Records, Manson’s label, couldn’t specify at press time exactly what was interfering with the Ozzfest schedule and preventing him from playing to thousands of metal-loving minions along with festival headliners Black Sabbath, Slipknot, Papa Roach and Crazy Town (see “Black Sabbath Will Headline Ozzfest” ).

Early reports linked Manson to the April 1999 Columbine shooting after students at the school — located in Littleton, Colorado, a Denver suburb — said gunmen Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris were fans of the goth rocker. But later accounts refuted the claim, citing that the two shooters did not like Manson at all. Nevertheless, a radio-sponsored Manson concert at Denver Red Rocks Amphitheater in the days following the shooting was canceled (see “Marilyn Manson Concert, Other Denver Events Canceled In Wake Of High School Shooting” ).

The incident continues to affect the artist’s career: Despite Manson’s denial, the video for “The Fight Song,” off his latest album, Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death), was assumed to be referencing the school shooting in its depiction of a clash between goths and jocks (see “Marilyn Manson Denies Video Has Columbine Link” ).

“People will put into it what they want if it helps them sell newspapers or helps them write a headline,” Manson said in January. “They’re gonna want to turn it into something it isn’t.”
In other Ozzfest news, the perceived menace of the tour apparently prompted officials at the Glen Helen Regional Park in Devore, California, to reschedule a traveling troupe of Mormons who planned to make their way to there from Utah on a re-enactment of the path taken by early pioneers who settled in Southern California.

The Heritage Trails Wagon Train was to depart Utah the week of April 23 and arrive June 28 at the park, which includes an amphitheater where Ozzfest is scheduled to stop. Upon their arrival, the Mormon travelers were to stage a three-day Heritage Festival that would overlap Ozzfest’s June 30 engagement, according to a spokesperson for the group. Rather than chance a clash between the wound-up concertgoers and the religious sect, park officials asked the wagon train to amend its itinerary. A new covered-wagon trek is set to begin around Labor Day.