Ozzy Osbourne announced yesterday he will sue the state of New
Jersey for the right to bring his Ozzfest tour to Giants Stadium with Marilyn
Manson on the bill as scheduled. On Thursday officials from the Meadowlands
sports complex in East Rutherford (which includes Giants Stadium) issued the
organizers of Ozzfest an ultimatum: remove Manson from the line-up or the
Meadowlands will not sign a contract to host the June 15 concert. Osbourne
responded with a statement that read in part, "Nobody has the right to tell me
who I can perform with. I will not be putting any limits on any of the
Osbourne's announcement follows a statement on Thursday from the
American Civil Liberties Union that it is preparing a suit against the city of
Richmond, Virginia to allow Manson to perform at a local arena on May 10. On
Tuesday, the city council voted to cancel Manson's May 10 appearance at the
Richmond Coliseum. City Manager Robert C. Bobb told the Washington Post
that Marilyn Manson "was just not consistent with our community
"You cannot, based upon the content of lyrics, determine who can
play in a public forum," the ACLU's Mary Bauer told Reuters. Bobb
contends that the city had neither a signed contract for the show nor a deposit
from the concert's promoter. As of mid-week, 2,000 tickets had already been
sold for 9,000 seat venue...
The attempts at cancellation in New Jersey and Virginia
came amid increasing public pressure in other states to ban Manson's concerts.
An April 17 performance in Jacksonville, Florida prompted 5,000 telephone and
email complaints to the mayor's office there. A show originally set to take
place tomorrow (April 20) in Columbia, South Carolina was canceled after the
University of South Carolina paid promoters to prevent the concert.
Associated Press reports that a religious leader in Saginaw, Michigan is
petitioning local officials to require that all attendees under the age of 18
be accompanied by an adult for Manson's April 25 show. The Saginaw City Council
has already voted to allow the concert to continue, saying that a cancellation
would violate Manson's first amendment rights.
Osbourne's response to
Meadowlands officials opened with his declaration that, "I love America...This
is the only country in the world to have an instituted an act as progressive as
the First Amendment."
Osbourne went on to say that the Ozzfest concerts
"are all about having a good time. I don't believe that anyone, regardless of
age, should be prohibited by law from enjoying themselves at a rock
"But situations like this are cyclical," Osbourne continued. " They
tried to stop Elvis in the '50s, the Beatles in the '60s, A Clockwork
Orange in the '70s and Ozzy Osbourne in the '80s. There are always people
who want to impose their standards on you by any means necessary. Blackmail is
a stain on free society, and I will not give in to it on any level.
is not an issue of taste," Osbourne's statement concluded. "It is an issue of
civil liberty and freedom. You could be next and don't believe