23 Fans Arrested Following Ozzy Cancellation

There was more

trouble for Ozzfest '97 on Tuesday, but this time

the center of the storm

was headliner Ozzy Osbourne himself rather

than opening act Marilyn Manson.

The Columbus, Ohio Police Department reports

that 23 arrests were made

during the pandemonium that ensued

after it was announced that Osbourne and

the reunited Black Sabbath would not perform

at the Polaris Amphitheater

concert, which also included Manson,

Pantera, Type O Negative, Fear

Factory and Machinehead on the

bill.

One fan and two Polaris security

members reportedly sustained minor injuries.

Tour publicist Perry Serpa told ATN Wednesday that

Osbourne "canceled the Ozzy and Black

Sabbath sets due to the fact that he had a sore throat.

Rather than get

up onstage and make it worse, he decided to can the show."

Before announcing Osbourne's cancellation, members of the show's

other bands convened for an all-star Ozzy tribute (Manson belted "Crazy

Train"), but the gesture proved to be little

consolation for angry fans.

Police spokesperson Carrie Bartunek told ATN that the sold

out crowd of 20,000 first heard the news of Ozzy's no-show at 9:20 p.m.

"That's when things went crazy and the patrons started destroying the

fence" around the amphitheater, said Bartunek. "We donned our riot

equipment at 9:25 and activated the officers.

By 10 p.m. we were starting to release officers."

The police account of the incident notes that several minor trash fires

were set

in the Polaris parking lot. A box

office window was also broken,

said Polaris general manager Patrick Leahy.

Leahy noted that the venue learned of Osbourne's absence just 30 minutes

before he was scheduled to perform.

The dreaded task of

informing the

crowd

fell to Pantera singer Philip

Anselmo. "We felt an artist would be the best person to convey the

message," said Polaris front office staffer Todd Tucker. "It's somebody

who the crowd's going to listen to."

Arrests during the uproar

were made for

criminal

mischief, criminal

trespassing, possession of open alcohol containers and drug paraphernalia,

drug abuse, and outstanding misdemeanor warrants.

A total of 75 officers -- far more than usual according to Bartunek

-- were

on

the scene.

"We were afra

id there might

be problems," said the police spokesperson.

Information about possible rescheduling or refunds is expected later this

week.