While there have been, and continue to be, lots of awesome metal festivals, one of the all-time greatest is easily Ozzfest.
Founded by Ozzy and Sharon Osbounre, Ozzfest has taken place on an (almost) annual basis from 1996 to 2018; after a four-year hiatus, the metal festival made a return as of last year.
Each run associated with the festival involved an exciting range of metal acts, with Ozzy Osbourne performing in some capacity (some runs involved Black Sabbath, and others involved Osbourne as a solo act).
One of the great things about Ozzfest back in the ’90s and early aughts is that it helped out a lot of bands who may not have been as widely known – one of those acts being Slipknot.
While Slipknot made waves throughout the metal world thanks to their self-titled debut album, band frontman Corey Taylor has accredited their 1999 Ozzfest run as something that really helped the band out.
Per a past feature with Rolling Stone, Taylor expressed how important Ozzfest was in helping Slipknot “really jumpstart” their career. Per Taylor:
“You have to go back to 1999, our first major tour. Ozzfest gave us an incredible opportunity and we were able to really jumpstart our career from there … The great thing about being a part of that Ozzfest was that you were immediately a part of a family.”
Speaking about his favorite memory associated with the festival, Taylor went on to share:
“I learned that even in the midst of all kinds of crazy stuff going on, I can still be a fanboy. When Ozzy hugged me for the first time, it was like being blessed. It doesn’t get any better than that.”
It is very surreal to think about those early days of Ozzfest and to hear that Osbourne is retiring from touring life. Whether through his music or his festival, Osbourne has done so much to help bands and artists.
If you have attended Ozzfest, what are some of your favorite memories?