Rumors are running rampant that the "surprise groundbreaking, historic announcement" that Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne will make about this summer's Ozzfest will involve a change from the tour's traditionally open-air format to an indoor-arena setup, with Osbourne serving as the headliner on most, if not all, the dates, and around 5-6 additional bands on the bill and a few others on select stops. According to unconfirmed reports, the change will be made to reduce the high cost of running the festival as well as to address the sluggish ticket sales that have plagued the festival in recent years. In addition, it will deal with the fact that outside venues tend to cause Ozzy's allergies to flare up — as they did on his most recent run as the Ozzfest headliner in 2005 — which invevitably leads to concert cancellations.
"He's been having a lot of voice problems," Sharon stated during Ozzfest's 2005 run. "Ozzy suffers from hay fever. When the pollen count is high, he's just wiped out. And there's only so many things he can take for it."
Ozzy and Sharon's announcement will be made at CIC 2007 (Concert Industry Consortium) on Tuesday, February 6 at 11:00 a.m. PT at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel (The Westside Room), located at 2025 Avenue Of The Stars in Century City, California. Media arrivals begin at 10:15 a.m. The event is also open to registrants of CIC. Note: This private event is ***NOT*** open to the public.
Although there has been no official announcement on the matter, it is believed that ALICE IN CHAINS will take part in this year's event, which is expected to kick off in late June or early July. Other bands that are strongly rumored to be in talks to perform are BLACK LABEL SOCIETY, KILLSWITCH ENGAGE and HELLYEAH (the new band featuring former PANTERA/DAMAGEPLAN drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott alongside members of MUDVAYNE and NOTHINGFACE).