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If you are a metal head like me then you were probably at the Ozzfest and know how good it was. This was not just because of the great music line up but also because of how brilliantly the artists performed and how well an organised event it is. This review is for those who want to know how good an event it was and whether or not they should go to future Ozzfests…
THE LINE UP
Raging Speedhorn (hed) planet earth Soulfly Papa roach Tool Slipknot Black Sabbath
The Union Underground Pure Rubbish Apartment 26 Zakk Wyldes Black Label Society Mudvayne Amen Disturbed
The first band were The Union Underground on the second stage and after a few minutes break (with rock music pumping out the huge speakers) Raging Speedhorn played on the 1st stage. This continued all day - constant live performances with only short breaks as the two stages alternated.
The Ozzfest was set in the Milton Keynes Bowl. For a one-day event like the Ozzfest I cant think of a better venue. The grass slopes that face the bowl centre (which houses the two stages at one end with the shops and beer tents a little to the sides) make the perfect place to relax and take a break, and from here you can even see the stages quite well. The centre of the bowl is more than big enough to accommodate the huge crowds that danced in front of the stage.
The organisation was excellent, the main things you might worry about at an event like this are the toilets and the food. Well these were both taken care of pretty well. Allmost all the toilets were the new kind with sinks and proper cubicles (and urinals in the mens). Dont expect them to have silk toilet roll and bidets but for a festival they were very good! The food was expensive and I felt totally ripped off when paying £1.50 for a small bottle of water (this is a problem that is common to all festivals). This is made worse by the fact that you cant take your own food or bottles etc into the site… I am sure there are legitimate safety reasons for this but it was a complaint I heard a few people mention. Having said that it wasn’t too hard to smuggle things in! My advice is to use the taps there to refill your water otherwise you will either go thirsty or spend a lot of money.
Ozzy Osbourne knows how to have a party! All the bands that played made a really good performance – from (hed) pe’s (cool as hell) DJ Product throwing himself about like a mad man and skateboarding (!!!!!) on stage to the breathtaking show that Tool put on. From the beginning Raging Speedhorn and The Union Underground had the early crowd jumping with sets that were fully charged. I reckon Raging Speedhorn are a band well worth checking out if you have not already. I was not expecting to see Pure Rubbish (they were not on the ticket) and to be honest I was not paying full attention to their set but they did sound good even if they were a bit ‘cock rock’! (hed)planet earth were next up and they totally rocked! Jahred (the singer/rapper) sounded even better live than he does recorded! His voice was very ‘growly’ and went perfectly with the way that the band sounded more guitar dominant live. The music was excellent and really got a lot of people dancing as the band urged the crowd on. Soulfly produced a few surprises with guest appearances including Corey from Slipknot to sing on the amazing ‘Jump Da F**k Up’. They also played ‘Roots Bloody Roots’ which absolutely rocked! I was at the front for their set and it was a personal highlight of the day. The best performance was probably from Tool – the complex nature of the music made a lot of the very young Papa Roach fans disappear for a while. The music was amazing, the performance faultless and you could not take your eyes off the stage with Maynard James Keenan wearing only black boxers and chunky leather boots! This was accompanied by very cool weird video on the three large screens. Everyone else delivered great performances. Papa roach and Mudvayne played well enough but I don’t think their music is all it is hyped up to be… Slipknot played lots of material from their forthcoming album and also threw in some explosives during the set! Disturbed played beyond expectations with a very cool set that impressed a lot of people even if they did fall a little short of deserving the headline slot on the second stage. Finally of course were Black Sabbath. Who knows if this was their last gig but they played as if it was! They rolled out all the classics and the atmosphere in the bowl was fantastic as the sun came down and the campfires started. Their music was the perfect end to the day and I don’t think a single person in the bowl didn’t enjoy it!
The day ended with an incredible firework display and everyone went home very happy. It might cost you a bit to actually get to the venue early and get back late at night but it was well worth £32 for the ticket. I will definitely be going next year and (assuming the line up is good) I recommend all metal fans do the same!