Despite Ozzy Osbourne's announcement last week that this will be his final stint as Ozzfest yearly headliner, Sharon Osbourne, wife and manager of Ozzy and the one person who may be the glue holding the entire operation together, was adamant about the future of Ozzfest.
"I can absolutely see this festival continuing on for the next 10 years," she told The Orange County Register. "It just comes down to giving the people what they want."
According to Sharon Osbourne, her husband had to cancel his performances because of chronic voice problems brought on by hay fever and allergies. She said that despite the problems with canceled performances, she is confident that the tour is in great shape and remains one of the top money-making concert events in the country. And even as metal takes on new sounds with the upcoming bands, Sharon Osbourne thinks the genre is as strong as ever.
"There's no revitalization of metal," she said. "It's never gone away. That's why Ozzfest has been selling out for the past 10 years."
Regarding the festival's future, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY mainman Zakk Wylde — whose band has been a fixture on the tour since 1999 — told The Orange County Register, "What can I say, it's been a blast all these years. We're talking about an event where you have bands like BLACK SABBATH and IRON MAIDEN playing. It's like being in metal heaven."
Wylde said that before Ozzfest, his band was touring Japan and Europe, but he makes sure that his schedule is clear for this time of the year. "It's becoming a tradition for this band. All the chapters of the BLACK LABEL SOCIETY bike clubs show up for the tour and we all have a (great) time."
Wylde also believes the tour allows the "underground" bands a time to reach people who might not have heard of them. "I'll walk down to the second stage and watch some of these bands. They're the future, but at the same time, are the link to the past."
Wylde told The Orange County Register he spoke to Ozzy Osbourne about his recent announcement of cutting back his Ozzfest appearances and told him that he was in an enviable position.
"I told him he can pick and choose the gigs he wants to play," Wylde said. "I said, 'Ozzy, you have to realize that this tour is bigger than you. It's an institution.'"