Report: At New OZZFEST, Freedom Ain't Free

Lee Bains of CMJ (College Music Journal, a weekly magazine of and for the music industry and college radio stations in the United States and Canada) reports:

"Announcing yesterday that this summer's Ozzfest will be a free event, Sharon Osbourne waxed altruistic, saying, '[We] want the kids to be able to afford to come out and have an incredible experience. If we continued with the traditional touring festival model, we would have no choice but to raise ticket prices again this year.' Osbourne locates blame in the bands for those spikes in ticket prices, saying that ticket costs have 'steadily climbed as artists demand more and more money for summer tours.'

"According to an anonymous source, over the last few years, the mall-metal matriarch has actually charged developing bands up to $75,000 for the opportunity to tour on the festival's second stage. So if a free Ozzfest isn’t a reaction to money-hungry bands, what is it?

"Well, it might have something to do with the $1.5 million loss, as reported by an anonymous source, that LiveNation — the festival's promoter — is rumored to have suffered as a result of last year's Ozzfest. John Vlautin, Vice President of Communications for LiveNation, declined to comment on the profitability of their ventures.

"Osbourne plans to offset the profit lost by free admission 'by getting bigger sponsors to be involved with the festival and underwriting the festival.' According to Vlautin, Jägermeister and Monster Energy drink have already signed on."

Read the entire article at CMJ.

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