NEW YORK -- Ozzfest has been the “bastard of summer musical festivals” for seven years, but Ozzfest 2002 will be the first to involve the World Wrestling Federation.
In a press conference Thursday at WWF New York attended by the entire Osbourne family, Undisputed Federation Champion Triple H and about 200 fans and media, it was announced that the Federation and Ozzfest are teaming up.
According to Sharon Osbourne, Ozzy’s wife and manager, the Federation is the main sponsor of Ozzfest 2002. She said Federation Superstars would be introducing bands and signing autographs at shows on the 32-date hard-rock tour. In turn, some bands on the tour may perform on Federation events.
“We’re really, really happy about the coalition, and we’re so happy we could become partners,” Sharon said. “And we look forward to a long and successful future, not just for this year but for years to come."
And Sharon joked that there’s another benefit to having the Federation Superstars around.
“We’re very happy about the association,” she said. “And also I know my husband is because he’s going to make Mr. H keep me in line.”
Triple H - who quipped that “on the opening night, Ozzy and I have a cage match” -- said the alliance between the Federation and Ozzfest just makes sense.
“I think that the two blend perfectly,” he said. “If you’ve ever been to a (Federation) show, you know that we always over-deliver. If you’ve ever been to Ozzfest, they always over-deliver - it’s young bands, it’s hot bands that are just there for the fans. That’s what the (Federation) is about. If you’ve been to Ozzfest in the past and thought it was great, just wait until the World Wrestling Federation is a part of it.”
The Game mentioned that the Federation has always had a strong connection to the music industry. For example, Drowning Pool - one of the bands performing at Ozzfest this year - and Saliva appeared at WrestleMania X8. The Federation also uses top bands for video highlight packages and entrance music.
“This is just a huge expansion of that,” Triple H said. “Working with Sharon and Ozzy will give us the ability to expand, get a greater range of music and give us a larger talent pool to draw from.”
Music starts at 10 a.m. at Ozzfest events and continues until 11:30 p.m. There are three different stages with acts. A few dozen bands will perform, among them are System of a Down, P.O.D., Zakk Wylde’s Black Label Society, Adema, Rob Zombie and of course Ozzy himself.
After the press conference, Triple H headed back to the WWF New York green room and chatted with Ozzy and his son, Jack, for several minutes. Jack Osbourne said he often attends Federation events when the company visits Los Angeles; Jack met Bubba Ray Dudley through a mutual friend and keeps in contact with him.
Ozzy recalled the time he appeared at WrestleMania II and helped the British Bulldogs win the Tag Team Championship.
“I’ve never heard an audience get so crazy in my life,” he said. “It was un-fucking-real. The experience of being there and actually witnessing it was absolutely phenomenal. They blow the rock ‘n’ roll crowds away.”
Ozzy mentioned that he’d “love to” perform at the Federation event, perhaps by singing “Iron Man.” And through this new partnership between Ozzfest and the Federation, he may very well get that opportunity.
Summing it all up, Julie Hoffman, chief marketing officer for the Federation, said, “For the millions and millions of fans of the World Wrestling Federation who love Ozzfest’s rock ‘n’ roll, this is really a dream come true.”