OZZFEST 2004: The Official Press Release

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 20, 2004--"The day OZZfest comes to town is the best day of summer for hardcore fans of hard rock and metal music. They know they're getting value beyond what they paid for." So says OZZfest founder Sharon Osbourne. "The music starts at 9:30 a.m. and doesn't stop until Ozzy leaves the stage at 11:00 p.m. What they get is 20-plus bands, 13 and a half hours of non-stop music on two stages, and enough rock insanity to last them until the next year for about the same amount they'd pay to get into (Six Flags) Magic Mountain. And seeing Ozzy onstage is a better ride than any rollercoaster."

Indeed, it's the attention to its fans that makes OZZfest so popular — it was recently voted the "#2 Tour of 2003" by the readers of Rolling Stone. In fact, fans helped choose the second-stage acts for OZZfest 2004, with more than 65,000 responding in the first weekend to a poll at www.ozzfest.com. Ozzfest.com will be the site to purchase the best Ozzfest tickets first. OZZfest is truly unique in that the fans speak, and the festival listens.

Having come to define summer for many a metalhead, OZZfest is returning for an incredible ninth consecutive year, with 26 dates beginning July 10 in Hartford, Conn. The earsplitting extravaganza has earned a hallowed position in the busiest tour season with a relentless commitment to its core fans and the consistency of quality they demand as their birthright. Fanatical concertgoers revisit the scene each year as a new crop of hard-rock hellions is cultivated. They know they'll see established acts they've grown to worship and discover developing artists they'll bow down to for many full moons yet to come.

As in previous incarnations, OZZfest 2004 will present two stages, with The Iron Man Of Rock And Roll, Ozzy Osbourne, headlining the main stage. This year's lineup also boasts the much-anticipated JUDAS PRIEST reunion, featuring Rob Halford, metal titans SLAYER and SLIPKNOT, Norwegian black-metal maniacs DIMMU BORGIR, and fan favorites SUPERJOINT RITUAL (featuring Phil Anselmo of PANTERA) and BLACK LABEL SOCIETY (fronted by OZZY guitarist Zakk Wylde).

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Among the newer bands who scored well on the www.ozzfest.com poll and earned a spot on the second stage were HATEBREED, LAMB OF GOD and LACUNA COIL. This year's second-stage headliners, SLIPKNOT, will also be joined by GOD FORBID, BLEEDING THROUGH, ATREYU, EVERY TIME I DIE and UNEARTH. Further lineup inclusions — and plenty of 'em — will be announced shortly.

"We've been around for nearly a decade because we listen to the fans and stay true to the genre," says Jane Holman, longtime producer of OZZfest (she has been involved since 1997) and Vice President of Clear Channel Entertainment. "We don't make the mistake of trying to be all things to all people."

Longevity is measured in numbers as well as fan response to authenticity, and when it comes to OZZfest, success has bred success. According to Billboard: "Since its inaugural run in 1996, OZZfest has grossed a staggering $146.5 million from 236 shows that have drawn 3.8 million headbangers, primarily to outdoor amphitheaters" (Dec. 20, 2003).

To be sure, the annual blowout has traditionally showcased the most acclaimed hard rock acts in the land while at the same time exposing fans to up-and-coming talent. The second stage is well known for its ability to break bands and catapult careers. SYSTEM OF A DOWN, INCUBUS, SLIPKNOT, CHEVELLE and DISTURBED are just some of the artists who've graduated from second-stage status to bona fide stardom. Others who broke out big after their stint on OZZfest include GODSMACK, LIMP BIZKIT and LINKIN PARK.

Of course, the impact of OZZfest extends beyond music. The traveling show has spawned a community of likeminded souls and become a cultural touchstone in the process. It takes a village to raise a headbanger, and the festival's renowned Village Of The Damned - replete with tattoo artists, piercing booths, state-of-the-art video games, all manner of vendors and much more - will once again be in force.

It's not surprising that OZZfest is able to draw top-notch sponsors. Miller is the official beer of OZZfest backstage — the company will be hosting a tent backstage for artists and a select group of sweepstakes winners. Jagermeister, also a player in 2004, has been very supportive over the years. Hot Topic will host the second stage again and will be the tour's official soft-lines retail partner. FYE, For Your Entertainment, joins OZZfest for a 4th year as official music retailer and will host the Artist Autograph Tent. Trojan Brand Condoms are another key sponsor.

New this year on Ozzfest.com is Ozzfest Radio, powered by KNAC.com, "The Loudest Dot Com On The Planet." Ozzfest Radio will feature round the clock streaming of past and present Ozzfest performers.

This is truly a bonus for those unable to attend OZZfest 2004, but the fact remains: You can't download the festival experience, and OZZfest is screaming, sweat-streaming, air-punching proof positive of that.

-- 20 Trucks ...
-- 40 Buses ...
-- 525 Crew Members ...
-- 20 Bands ...
-- 13 1/2 Hours Of Music ...

The demon is back!

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