When it comes to American heavy metal festivals, there was a long ass time where it was pretty much Ozzfest or bust. These days, we’re lousy with killer festivals with sick lineups throughout North America, but a lot of that has to be attributed to Ozzfest’s success in the 90s and early 2000s.
While speaking about the festival and its impact on the latest episode of The Osbournes podcast (as transcribed by Blabbermouth), the Osbourne family openly wondered if there’d ever be a time when Ozzfest would go back to being that traveling heavy metal freakshow it was once known for. Unsurprisingly, Sharon Osbourne said she’d be down — as long as artists and their managers didn’t ask for too much money.
The comment came about when her daughter Kelly said it “always comes down to” whether acts would be “realistic” about compensation. That’s when Sharon went more in-depth with her criticisms.
“It’s great. That’s what we wanted — everybody to do spin-offs and do their own festivals, and it’s great. It’s great for fans; it’s brilliant. But why is it when it comes to us that everybody thinks that we are trillionaires, and so that every manager who wants their band on our festival wants one of the fucking trillions they think we’ve got to put on the festival?”
Apparently she thinks that everyone believes the Osbournes were the sole financiers of the festival and not benefiting from the scores of advertisers and sponsors that always made that festival run. Between merch sales, record sales after the fact, concessions and the like, it makes sense that bands would want to see some of those profits on their end too, right?
During their chat, Ozzy suggested just showcasing smaller acts so they won’t come with such a huge price tag, but Sharon sensibly shot that down, noting that a festival needs headliners. Their son Jack Osbourne also brought up that most of today’s festivals are “basically just Ozzfest” — which is funny when you consider things like Maryland Deathfest, Furnace Fest, and similar festivals that go way harder than Ozzfest does/did.
Still, Sharon said it was great there were so many options, basically crediting Ozzfest with effectively creating the (still lacking compared to Europe) American metal festival scene.
“Well, it’s the same bands just going around and around and around. But that’s what’s so good, because we started something, people have taken it, and it’s still great for the genre. It’s really good.”
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