Charles Passy of the Palm Beach Post reports that for most of Ozzfest 2003's 14-hour duration, bands encourage concertgoers to engage in all sorts of mayhem. "Let's get bleeping crazy," is the day's common refrain.
"So what happened at the Sound Advice Amphitheatre [in West Palm Beach, Florida] on Thursday [August 28] when Ozzfest arrived for its final tour date of the long, hot summer? The young crowd — of better than 17,000 — took the advice to heart: After an early-evening rain turned the lawn area into a sopping mess, some revelers made a sport out of taking huge chunks of grass and mud and throwing them every which way. Ozzfest quickly became Sodfest. And how did the festival respond? In the name of keeping order, it asked them to stop.
"That pretty much tells you everything you need to know about the kind of commercialized rebellion Ozzfest has been successfully peddling since its inception eight years ago. Sure, you can go nuts — as long as you play by the festival's narrow definition of the term: Wear black, spend umpteen dollars on food, drinks and drug culture-inspired merchandise and, if you're a woman, show your breasts as often as possible. Apparently, sod-throwing is more a crime than encouraging the female population to reduce themselves to sexual objects.
"Of course, Ozzfest isn't just about rebellion — packaged or otherwise. It's also about music, a loud, primordial sonic landscape that never fully goes out of fashion. And although one could argue that the festival's moment has passed and rock has discovered more artful and subtler forms of expression of late, the fact remains that heavy metal will always rule the day with a certain crowd." Read more.