You’ve read the title? Right. That’s the gist of the story. Black Sabbath will no longer be performing any of their previously announced European tour dates, with the exception of Download Festival 2012. In place of the majority of the cancelled shows, an ‘Ozzy & Friends’ gathering (including Geezer Butler, Zakk Wylde, Slash, and other, as-yet-unnanounced special guests) will fill in Black Sabbath’s place. Click after the jump to read Black Sabbath’s statement on this situation in full.
Here is the official statement direct from the band:
TOUR UPDATE: BAND’S SOLE EUROPEAN PERFORMANCE THIS SUMMER SET FOR U.K.’S DOWNLOAD FESTIVAL. OZZY & FRIENDS TO PERFORM MAJORITY OF OTHER SCHEDULED SHOWS
BLACK SABBATH –who late last year confirmed the recording of their first new album in more than 33 years and a worldwide headlining tour–have had to put some plans on hold due to Tony Iommi’s battle with lymphoma. At this time, BLACK SABBATH will perform only one show of this summer’s previously scheduled European tour. It will take place Sunday, June 10 at the U.K.’s Download Festival.
So as not to let the promoters and fans down, Ozzy Osbourne will now perform the majority of the previously scheduled BLACK SABBATH dates (both festival performances and the headlining shows) billed as OZZY & FRIENDS. These “first ever” OZZY & FRIENDS shows will feature appearances by “special guest” musicians including Official Geezer Butler(who will join Ozzy for a special BLACK SABBATH set as a show of respect and support to their friend, Tony Iommi) and longtime former OZZY band member Zakk Wylde. In addition, OZZY will be accompanied by longtime collaborator and friend Slash at select shows, with other “special guests” set to join the tour at various stops along the way (full list of dates, appearances below).
Tony Iommi continues to make excellent progress and is looking forward to getting back out on the road. Meanwhile, BLACK SABBATH continue to write and record music in the U.K. for their upcoming album. More information about these dates and BLACK SABBATH’s recording and touring plans is forthcoming.
Well, we can’t say this is entirely a surprise – we’ve even previously speculated that they might have to cancel shows in light of Tony Iommi’s ongoing cancer treatments. Nor is it that much of a shock that an ‘Ozzy & Friends’ substitute will be going on in their place. We’ll hold our hands up in surprise that the Download date wasn’t included in the cancellations, although to be fair, Black Sabbath have singled out their sole UK date previously as the one show they were determined to play come what may. While this is terrible news for thousands of European Black Sabbath fans, the fact that Iommi is confident that he will be able to play a show on home turf is at least a sign that things aren’t as bad as they could’ve been.
As an aside, it’s also interesting to note that this will be the first time that Zakk Wylde and Ozzy Osbourne will have shared a stage since Zakk Wylde found out that he’d been replaced in Ozzy’s official solo band via Twitter. We guess that means the Black Label Society frontman and Ozzy have kissed and made up.
The list of shows where Black Sabbath is to be replaced with ‘Ozzy & Friends’ are below. Any and all other previously announced dates (other than Black Sabbath’s headline spot at Download Festival) should be considered cancelled until further notice.
‘Ozzy & Friends’ – Black Sabbath replacement tour dates:
23 Helsinki Hartwall Arena
25 Stockholm Stadium
27 Jelling Festival
29 Bergen Calling Festival
31 Oslo Spektrum
02 Malmo Stadium
04 Dortmund Westfalenhalle
06 Prague O2 Arena
15 Vitoria Azkena Rock Festival
17 Clisson Hellfest
22 Dessel Graspop Metal Meeting
24 Milan Gods of Metal Festival
26 Vienna Stadthalle
28 Belgrade USCE Park
01 Athens Rockwave Festival