Since 1996 Ozzy Osbourne's trademark tour has made a huge impact in the world of heavy music. Redefining the stereotypical heavy metal concert, his signature tour was the result of being rejected from Lollapalooza. Since it's conception, the tour has been a great opportunity for heavy metal fans to hear their favorite bands and get a taste of new groups on the scene. Each summer since then has offered a wide array of classic metal bands and newcomers to the genre, giving fans a show that would not soon be forgotten.
Ozzfest was born in 1996, giving headbangers something to look forward to each year since. The first tour ever was slated with Ozzy himself to headline. Subsequently each year after was led by either Ozzy Osbourne or Black Sabbath, as should be expected. The 1996 tour brought names like Slayer, Danzig, Biohazard and Sepultura to the 20 plus cities that were scheduled to be run through. Other bands that played that year were Neurosis, Earth Crisis, Powerman 5000 and Coal Chamber.
1997 brought the return of the now second annual tour. Adding a couple of extra cities to the map and a couple more bands to the line up, Ozzfest 1997 was another success. Ozzy headlined with Black Sabbath in tow for a double dose of the man himself. Other big acts that year were Pantera, Type O Negative, Machine Head and the always-entertaining Marilyn Manson. Powerman 5000, Neurosis and Coal Chamber returned for a second run and the stage was also blessed by the presence of Slo Burn, Vision of Disorder and Fear factory.
The story continued pretty much along the same path for the next few years. One of the most hyped multi band tours to cross the land annually was a definite must-see for any heavy metal enthusiast. Ozzy always made his way through to headline and the lineup of bands became just a little more diverse, making the tour an even bigger hit. Bands like Megadeth, Seven Dust, Soulfly, System of a Down, Rob Zombie, Primus, Godsmack and Fear Factory were big attractions in a tour that was larger than life.
2001 brought the tour back yet again, this time with a bigger tour schedule and the biggest line up yet. 2002 and 2003 continued along the same trend. There was a main stage that was always packed, a second stage that was comparably crowded, and a lineup of headliners, second stage acts and rotating performances that was virtually unstoppable. Bands like Hatebreed, Godhead, Mudvayne, Drowning Pool and Korn were not only solidifying their place in metal history but they were benefiting in record sales also. Marilyn Manson made his way back to the Ozzfest stage along with System of a Down and Rob Zombie.