The wizard of Ozzfest

Legendary heavy metal rocker Ozzy Osbourne headlines in an ear-splitting concert that features seven bands

Sharon Ozzy Osbourne 311 (photo credit: Sasson Tiram)
Sharon Ozzy Osbourne 311
(photo credit: Sasson Tiram)
Heavy metal god Ozzy Osbourne and his entourage landed in Israel on Sunday, ahead of Tuesday night’s Ozzfest, which will bring the legendary metal festival to Israel for the first time.
Ozzy and his wife, Sharon, who starred with Ozzy and their children, Jack and Kelly, on the MTV reality show The Osbournes, arrived on their private jet along, with an entourage of 38 people and an additional jet carrying 18 tons of equipment.
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Promoter Shuki Weiss said Sunday that more than 8,000 tickets have been sold for the concert scheduled for Tuesday night at Tel Aviv’s Ganei Yehoshua park. The concert will feature seven acts performing on two separate stages, including Korn, Soulfly, Betzefer and headlining Ozzy. The event will be accessible for the disabled.
The 62-year-old Osbourne has had a ground-breaking career that has spanned four decades. He first attained fame as the hell-raising, ear-splitting lead singer of pioneering heavy metal band Black Sabbath.
The band released a string of influential albums, including the 1970 classic Paranoid, whose tracks “War Pigs” and “Iron Man” have blown a million speakers and influenced countless metal heads.
As a solo artist, Osbourne matched his earlier success with Black Sabbath, selling tens of millions of records and releasing such hits as “Crazy Train,” “Bark at the Moon” and “Mama, I’m Coming Home.”
The Prince of Darkness didn’t disappoint at Sunday’s press conference, leaving a roomful of journalists and admirers (most of them one and the same) in stitches with his trademark wit.
When asked why it had taken him so long to finally visit Israel, Osbourne said, “No reason, really. I mean, I was drunk for too many years.”
Ozzy had no patience for politics or talk of the artistic boycotts that have plagued Israeli concertgoers in recent years, saying, “I have no time for politics. They [politicians] don’t understand me, and I don’t understand them.”
For her part, Sharon drew a parallel to “the troubles” in Northern Ireland that plagued England in past decades, saying, “It’s the same as when we had all the problems with the IRA and no one refused to perform in England, so I don’t know why people don’t come here.”
When Ozzy was asked if he had any advice for those attending Tuesday’s concert, which he said would be heavy on the Black Sabbath classics, Sharon said concert attendees should “just go meshuganeh.”
Concert promoters have advised ticket holders to arrive by public transportation or on foot, due to expected traffic jams.