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How Ozzfest changed the world

From breaking bands to causing controversy, Ozzfest has brought metal to the masses like no other event. We remember two decades of mayhem, through the eyes of the bands who were there...

Back in the mid-90s, the notion of a travelling, all-metal festival was batshit crazy. Monsters Of Rock was dead, Download was still a twinkle in Andy Copping’s eye, and Lollapalooza filled its lineup with dirge such as Ben Folds Five, Cornershop and Coolio. But when Lollapalooza refused to put Ozzy on the bill, a frustrated Sharon Osbourne was spurred on to create a mini touring festival of her own, and Ozzfest was born. In the 20 years since, it’s grown beyond recognition, giving us iconic moment after iconic moment, such as Fred Durst emerging from a giant toilet in 1998, Slipknot kicking serious arse from the second stage in 1999, and Sharon turning the power off on Maiden in 2005. Digging deep into its evolution, we asked 10 of its veterans to talk us through their memories from the last 20 years of chaos.

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