"LOS ANGELES, California (Reuters) -- British heavy metal pioneer Ozzy Osbourne surprised the music industry Tuesday with plans to stage this year's Ozzfest, his annual U.S. summer hard-rock extravaganza, as a first-of-its kind free event.
The 12th annual rock festival headlined by the onetime reality TV star and self-described Prince of Darkness will kick off July 27 in the Los Angeles area and play 25 dates, Osbourne and his wife/manager, Sharon, told a news conference.
The announcement, which opened with Osbourne spray-painting the word "FREE" in black letters across an Ozzfest 2007 poster, came on the first day of the Concert Industry Consortium, an annual gathering of tour promoters and producers.
Experts said Ozzfest, one of the marquee summer rock events of the past decade, would be the first U.S. festival music tour to offer free admission."
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