The Ozzfest camp, they sure like to keep people guessing.
For weeks now, there's been a single burning question dogging the minds of Ozzfest ticketholders: Who's going to replace Iron Maiden for the festival's last seven dates? And Tuesday night, one of the metal world's worst kept secrets was finally revealed. Rock and roll supergroup Velvet Revolver will be taking over for Maiden as one of the tour's main attractions when Ozzfest hits Albuquerque, New Mexico, on August 23.
In mid-March, Iron Maiden disclosed the bad news: because of previous touring commitments they'd made overseas, the band would be no-shows for the last seven dates of this summer's Ozzfest. That announcement fired up the old rumor mill, and all along, the most popular theory has had Scott Weiland's band of former Guns N' Roses members filling that void. But Ozzfest organizers have been especially tight-lipped this year, trying to keep a lid on the mammoth mainstage add — a move industry insiders have characterized as a bid to keep ticket sales stable.
Since initially unveiling the festival's hard-hitting 2005 lineup back on March 15 (see "Ozzfest Lineup, Itinerary Announced"), the Ozzfest folks have given heavy metal fans plenty to talk about. Just hours after revealing the lineup, an ominous band silhouette — five dudes sporting long hair, striking the standard press photo pose — appeared amongst images of Black Sabbath, Zakk Wylde's Black Label Society and Shadows Fall in the "Main Stage" column of the Ozzfest Web site's "Bands" section. Above that image were three white question marks. Weeks of hearsay and fan-forum speculation later, Mudvayne were finally identified as that mystery band on April 4.
And there will soon be an addition to the tour's second-stage bill. That same mysterious band image, complete with those same three question marks, appears at the bottom of the site's "Bands" page. Although unconfirmed, Ozzfest watchers consider Long Island, New York's Bloodsimple the safest bet for that open slot.
Velvet Revolver will take over for Iron Maiden on the Ozzfest main stage from August 23 in New Mexico through September 4, when the tour wraps up in West Palm Beach, Florida. Ozzfest 2005, which also features Rob Zombie, Killswitch Engage, As I Lay Dying and Mastodon, kicks off on July 15 at the Tweeter Center in Mansfield, Massachusetts.