Ozzy Leaves Gods A Little Short

If Black Sabbath had been able to fulfill its headline slot at Italy’s Gods Of Metal Festival, promoter Andrea Pieroni reckons he’d have shifted a further 15,000 tickets.

Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi’s battle against lymphoma meant his band was replaced by “Ozzy & Friends,” a quasi Sabbath lineup featuring Ozzy Osbourne and original bassist Geezer Butler, which apparently didn’t have the pulling power of the original four-man Sabbath lineup.

Gods Of Metal, in its second year of Live Nation ownership and now expanded to a four-day event, still drew about 20,000 per day to its new site at the Fiera Open Air Arena in Milan. It actually moved to the Milan site last year, but that was a scaled-down, one-day 6,000-capacity indoor GOM because it clashed with the Italian leg of Sonisphere, also promoted by Pieroni.

LN bought a major share of Pieroni’s (then) Florence-based Live In Italy in the summer of 2010, although it’s had a presence in the country since its forerunner Clear Channel Entertainment bought Roberto de Luca’s Milano Concerti and Maurizio Salvadori’s Trident Agency in 2001.

Gods Of Metal’s failure to establish itself alongside such major European rockfests as Germany’s Wacken Open Air, Belgium’s Graspop, and Sweden Rock is partly due to its inability to settle in one place.

It began at Milan Forum in 1996 and stayed there for four years. In 2001, it moved to a soccer field at Monza, but only stayed a year before moving back to Milan and trying the Brianteo Stadium.

In 2003 it was back to Monza and the soccer field, where this time it managed an eight-year stay, before returning to Milan in 2011.

The lineup for this year’s Gods Of Metal June 21-24 also included Guns N’ Roses, Motley Crue, Manowar, Opeth, Black Label Society, and Lamb Of God.