By now, any metalhead worth his salt knows that tickets to this year's 12th annual Ozzfest will be free to fans, and that the longest-running heavy-metal festival will mostly subsist on corporate sponsorships.
But since Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne's historic announcement back in February (see "Osbournes Hype 'Groundbreaking' Ozzfest: 'Why Not Go To A Show For Free?' "), during which the festival's namesake spray-painted the word "free" across the "Ozz" of an Ozzfest banner, fans have been wondering who'd be taking the stage this summer. After all, Sharon previously stated that none of the bands will be paid, outside of merchandise sales, but will be encouraged to play shows on off-nights.
On Wednesday (March 21), the Ozzfest camp revealed that brutal Virginian metallers Lamb of God and cutting-edge Finnish act Lordi would be among the acts to rock the masses from the fest's main stage, along with Ozzy himself, who is expected to preview tracks from his forthcoming studio album — his first collection of new material since 2001 — for fans.
Connecticut hardcore heroes Hatebreed, returning for a second straight year, will headline the tour's dingier second stage, along with Mondo Generator, Ankla, Circus Diablo, Nile and the Showdown.
More artists are expected to be revealed in the coming weeks. While it will be Lordi's first Ozzfest appearance, Hatebreed played the festival in 2001, 2002, 2004 and 2006. Lamb of God were on the lineup for the 2004 installment.
Ozzfest will make 24 stops across the country, starting July 12 in Seattle, and running through August 30 in West Palm Beach, Florida.
To gain entry into this year's Ozzfest, metal lovers will need to visit the tour's Web site, as well as sponsor Live Nation's Internet home, to find links that will direct them to special sponsor sites where tickets can be secured.
"Ozzfest! Ozzfest! When we left Ozzfest three years ago, that was a mantra that burned itself into our collective subconscious, one that we repeat to this day in an almost autistic manner," said Lamb of God frontman Randy Blythe in a statement to the press. "To know once the power, the glory, the sheer brutality of the parking-lot circus stupidity that is Ozzfest is to be destined to repeat it. The fangs are out — our souls (and livers) needed three years to recover from the last run, but we are back and couldn't be more excited. This time, we have age and wis(dumb) on our side — be warned. It will be over this summer."
Hatebreed mainman Jamey Jasta said his band is "absolutely honored and beyond excited to be the sole headliner of the Ozzfest 2007 second stage," and that they'd "had a great time on the main stage" in 2006. "[But] it was obvious that our fans wanted to see us in the setting that they know and love. Having co-headlined the second stage twice in the past, once with Down in 2002 and again with Slipknot in 2004, it's a great achievement for us to now be able to close the show on the second stage and truly make Ozzfest history with our fifth appearance on the world's best tour. We can't wait to demolish the U.S. once again, spending another crazy summer with Ozzy and his traveling circus of metal mayhem."
Ozzfest dates, according to the festival's publicist:
· 7/12 - Seattle, WA @ White River Amphitheatre
· 7/14 - George, WA @ The Gorge Amphitheater
· 7/17 - Sacramento, CA @ Sleep Train Amphitheatre
· 7/19 - Mountain View, CA @ Shoreline Amphitheatre
· 7/21 - Devore, CA @ Hyundai Pavilion
· 7/24 - Phoenix, AZ @ Cricket Pavilion
· 7/26 - Albuquerque, NM @ Journal Pavilion
· 7/28 - Denver, CO @ Coors Amphitheatre
· 7/30 - Kansas City, MO @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
· 8/2 - Dallas, TX @ Smirnoff Music Centre
· 8/4 - San Antonio, TX @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
· 8/6 - St. Louis, MO @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
· 8/8 - Columbus, OH @ Germain Amphitheatre
· 8/10 - Tinley Park, IL @ First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
· 8/12 - East Troy, WI @ Alpine Valley Music Theatre
· 8/14 - Indianapolis, IN @ Verizon Wireless Music Theatre
· 8/16 - Holmdel, NJ @ PNC Bank Arts Center
· 8/18 - Hartford, CT @ New England Dodge Music Theatre
· 8/20 - Boston, MA @ Tweeter Center
· 8/22 - Philadelphia, PA @ Tweeter Center
· 8/24 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Post-Gazette Pavilion
· 8/26 - Detroit, MI @ DTE Energy Music Theatre
· 8/28 - Charlotte, NC @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
· 8/30 - West Palm Beach, FL @ Sound Advice Amphitheatre
For more on Ozzfest, check out the feature "Backstage at Ozzfest."