Today is make or break day for the Ozzfest concert in the state of
New Jersey: A federal district judge in Newark, Alfred Wolin, is expected to
issue a ruling by 12 p.m. EST in the case filed last week against the New
Jersey Sports Authority by Marilyn Manson, Ozzfest headliner Ozzy Osbourne, and
concert promoter Delsener-Slater Enterprises. The ruling could require the
Sports Authority to allow Manson to perform at the June 15 Ozzfest
Last month the Authority announced it would not put tickets for
the Ozzfest concert on sale as long as Manson remained on the bill. Manson's
lawyer, claiming that the ban violated his client's First Amendment rights,
subsequently brought suit: Marilyn Manson, Inc. vs. New Jersey Sports &
Exposition Authority. The plaintiffs asked the court to issue an injunction
against the state's ban, and the judge signed an order to "show cause." That
action put the burden on the Sports Authority to demonstrate why the court
should not prohibit the state's ban.
Today's expected decision is only the
latest installment in an ongoing series of local legal battles for Manson, the
most recent of which is a Michigan State Senate Resolution inspired by the
shock rocker that encourages a voluntary age restriction on certain concerts.
Resolution 53, authored by Republican Senator Dale Shugars and passed on a
voice vote last Wednesday (April 30), says that "entertainment venues in
Michigan should voluntarily prohibit attendance by minors under 18 years of age
who are not accompanied by parents or guardians at musical performances of
artists whose recordings carry parental advisory labels."
In a press
release, Shugars cited Manson as the catalyst for the measure. "This issue came
to my attention as a result of the April 30 concert by the metal rock group
Marilyn Manson at the Kalamazoo Wings Stadium. 10,000 petition signatures were
gathered to ask Wings Stadium to cancel the show."
Shugars' resolution is
not legally binding, but Mark Michaelsen, a spokesman for the senator, told ATN
that Shugars is considering introducing a bill that would make the prohibition
law. "Right now we're studying some court decisions to see what sort of
restrictions might be appropriate, and which ones would not be," said
Michaelsen. "Obviously if we introduce a bill, we want it to do something
meaningful, and not be struck down as unconstitutional right away."
Shugars, "Minors need parental permission to get pierced ears, tattoos, use a
tanning salon, or give blood. Would anyone suggest that getting pierced ears is
more dangerous than exposing a young psyche to an explicit rock concert, or
getting trampled in a mosh pit? Parental involvement should be a part of both