The long-running heavy metal and hard rock tour Ozzfest has been put on the back burner for 2009, as festival icon Ozzy Osbourne heads back to the studio to record a follow-up to 2007’s “Black Rain.” Ozzfest is expected to return in 2010.
According to a festival statement, Osbourne “will not be touring until he has a new album in stores” and so decided to nix his namesake festival this year, as well. The rocker usually features prominently on the festival’s lineup, either headlining or performing a set on the main stage.
Though not cited as an issue in the decision to cancel this year’s Ozzfest, the current state of the economy has closed down several 2009 tours and festivals as financial backing dries up and ticket sales slow. Celebrity tattoo artist Kat Von D was forced to cancel her inaugural Musink Tattoo & Music Festival, while the Langerado Music Festival axed what would have been its seventh annual event.
In recent years the touring festival, launched in 1996, has undergone several structural changes. Last year’s Ozzfest was restricted to a one-day destination event in Dallas, TX, but was deemed a success by promoter AEG Live when it grossed nearly $3.5 million.
The 2007 tour was dubbed “Freefest” when Osbourne’s wife and manager Sharon announced that all tickets for the outing would be given away for free. Live Nation distributed more than 428,000 tickets, and all 24 concerts “sold out” in a four-day period.
Osbourne’s forthcoming and as-of-yet untitled studio project is expected to hit stores around Thanksgiving 2009. In the meantime, he and his family will launch their new television variety show “The Osbournes: Reloaded” this spring on Fox.