Sunday's Ozzfest 2005 concert — slated for Somerset, Wisconsin's Float Rite Park Amphitheatre — has been rescheduled for September 10, in an effort to give Black Sabbath frontman Ozzy Osbourne time to rest his voice.
The postponement is only the second in the 10-year history of the summer celebration of all things metal; the first two dates of 2002's Ozzfest were postponed due to Sharon Osbourne's cancer treatment (see "Sharon Osbourne To Undergo Cancer Surgery, Two Ozzfest Shows Postponed ").
According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the concert's promoters made the announcement late Thursday night. Doctors who have been treating Osbourne for unspecified throat problems in recent weeks ordered the heavy metal legend to give his strained, 56-year-old vocal chords an overdue break this week.
This summer's Ozzfest, which kicked off July 15 in Mansfield, Massachusetts (see "Sabbath, Maiden Defend Metal Legacies At First Ozzfest Stop"), has been problematic for at least some of the tour's fans. Black Sabbath were forced to cancel three previous Ozzfest appearances — shows on July 27 in Holmdel, New Jersey, July 31 in Noblesville, Indiana, and August 2 in Columbus, Ohio — as a direct result of Ozzy's stressed pipes. Ticket holders for all three dates were offered full refunds, while co-headliners Iron Maiden were called upon to extend their set lists to make up for the Sabbath no-shows.
At the July 23 date in Bristow, Virginia, Osbourne told the crowd he was battling a cold.
The decision to postpone Sunday's concert rather than cancel Black Sabbath's set was a no-brainer for Minneapolis promoter Randy Levy.
"You gotta do Ozzfest with Ozzy," he told the Star-Tribune, adding that several of the concert's acts — which include Rob Zombie, Mudvayne, Mastodon, Killswitch Engage, and Shadows Fall — wouldn't be able to make the rescheduled gig. He did not reveal which bands would be missing, but said negotiations with potential replacement acts were already underway.
The severity of Osbourne's throat problems, as well as his specific diagnosis, is unknown. It is also unclear whether future Ozzfest dates would be postponed or will continue on schedule without closers Black Sabbath.
Ozzfest is set to run through this month, wrapping things up on September 4 in West Palm Beach, Florida (see "Ozzfest Lineup, Itinerary Announced").