Warped Tour Organizer Speaks Out About Free Ozzfest 2007
Band Photo: Ozzy Osbourne (?)
Alan Sculley of KansasCity.com reports: In 1996 Ozzfest became the first full-fledged touring heavy metal festival.
This year, courtesy of select sponsors, it's the first free major festival tour. OZZY OSBOURNE, LORDI and HATEBREED are fronting the bill that's stopping in 25 cities.
It's obviously a good deal for fans who get free tickets. But some within the concert industry see this unprecedented move as a good business decision by Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne just to keep Ozzfest afloat.
"It allowed Ozzy Osbourne to get one more paycheck out of (Ozzfest), to be 100 percent honest," said Kevin Lyman, organizer of the Warped Tour that will be at Verizon Aug. 15. "Sharon's a smart person, but basically that's what it is. It's a ploy, straight up. Ozzy's getting paid to do that show. She was struggling to put (together a bill) because she keeps charging more and more and selling less and less tickets. The attendance of that tour has been dropping for many years, and she keeps having to spend more on the talent to get people to the shows."
The Osbournes say it's a rebellion of sorts against rising costs, not only from the participants' fees but also from ticket prices for concerts in general. But in a phone interview in early July in Europe, Ozzy admitted he was puzzled when Sharon floated the idea.
"I was like, 'Sharon, what the (bleep) are you talking about?'" Osbourne said, injecting his favorite four-letter word for emphasis. "I said, 'You're smoking my (bleeping) weed, aren't you?' She goes, 'No, the only way I can put the brakes on these (bleepers) is to (make Ozzfest free).' What happens is this: Every time we do Ozzfest, somebody wants another (bleeping) 30 grand or 50, or more than they got the last year. So what happens is, it comes out of the price of the ticket."
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