After almost half a year of litigation musician, Ozzy Osbourne has dropped his lawsuit against concert promoter Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), over the company’s “block-booking” policy. The lawsuit was originally filed in March after a disagreement over the booking of concert venues for his farewell tour, “No More Tours 2.”
According to Consequence of Sound, the case was dismissed with prejudice on Friday after AEG announced the end of this practice. On Saturday Osbourne’s attorney, Dan Wall said that “Sharon and Ozzy are pleased that there is no longer anything to litigate.”
An article from Billboard states that the dispute began when Osbourne tried to book the AEG-owned O2 Arena in London for a February 2019 tour date. While arranging this date Osbourne states that AEG tried to force the singer to sign a commitment letter that stated that he would perform at the Staples Center if he were to perform in Los Angeles.
Osbourne who was trying to arrange a tour date at the Forum objected to this. His manager and wife, Sharon Osbourne, released an email with AEG Live chairman/CEO, Jay Marciano, accusing him of trying to blackmail artists into performing at AEG venues.
During an email exchange, Osbourne chastised the company writing “Shame on AEG for bringing artists into a power struggle you’re having with your competitor, Live Nation, I can assure you that Live Nation would never strong-arm an artist into playing a venue they’re not comfortable performing in.”
In response to the commitment, Osbourne sued for an injunction being forced to perform the show. In August U.S. District Court judge, Dale Fischer denied AEG’s request to have the case dismissed.
“Because Ozzy’s only reasonable choice of venue in London is the O2 Arena, he is explicitly coerced by a contract that says he must play the Staples Center,” Fischer said.
Fischer also acknowledged Osbourne’s physical health as a valid reason for not forcing him to perform stating that “Ozzy personally suffers damage in a fairly direct and non-speculative way by not being able to play in his preferred venues.”
In their defense, AEG stated that the practice was in response to rival concert promoter, Azoff/MSG Media using the same tactics to book artists at their stadiums. Azoff/MSG media is the owner of the Forum in Los Angeles and Madison Square Garden in New York City.
The news of AEG ending the controversial booking policy came after Azoff/MSG announced that they would also stop “block booking”.
Despite Osbourne’s scheduling troubles with AEG he seems to still be looking ahead to performing in the future. While he is still playing his “No More Tours 2” tour, Ozzy is also teasing a brand-new location in the New York area. Either way, it seems like the rock legend is not ready to hang it up just yet.
In a statement released on Tuesday, Sharon Osbourne reacted to comments made by AEG after Ozzy Osbourne dropped his lawsuit with the company. Osbourne directed targeted AEG owner, Phil Anschutz, labeling him “Big Daddy Bucks”. She went on to criticize Anschutz for living in a “billionaire bubble” and claimed that the lawsuit from Osbourne was about respect for artists, not promoters.
“From the start of this dialogue in February, this has been a battle about respect for the artists and their personal preferences,” Osbourne wrote, “It wasn’t then and isn’t now a battle between promoters, which is how this is being portrayed by the recent statement from AEG claiming this as a “victory.”
The statement from Osbourne is in response to the statement released by AEG declaring victory after the lawsuit was dismissed with prejudice by the artist. In the statement, AEG suggested that the lawsuit was pushed by rival company Live Nation and Azoff/MSG Media, suggesting Osbourne was in over his head.
“It was hatched on the back of an artist who we believe had no idea what he was biting off,” wrote AEG, “The suit was a transparent public relations ploy that failed to pressure AEG into backing down from a booking policy that was an effective competitive response to the MSG-Forum tie.”
Sharon Osbourne ended her press release by responding to this line by mocking the idea the idea that the Osbournes were not prepared to fight the case.
The only thing remotely interesting in your statement was your pitiful attempt at humor with your quote that Ozzy “had no idea what he was biting off,” she said, If you’re interested, Ozzy and I have got something nice for you bite on…our assholes…see ya loser!”
For the full statement from Sharon Osbourne read below:
DATE: SEPTEMBER 25, 2018
Sharon Osbourne Statement re AEG Lawsuit
We know Mr. Anshultz (aka “Daddy Big Bucks”) is living in his billionaire bubble, but the fact is that Ozzy sued AEG for the right to perform at the O2 in London. We won the case and Ozzy’s show at the O2 went on sale on September 5 for a show next year (February 11, 2019)–so in my world that means we won the case. Ozzy is playing the O2 without having to play the Staples Center, which is all that mattered to us. From the start of this dialogue in February, this has been a battle about respect for the artists and their personal preferences. It wasn’t then and isn’t now a battle between promoters, which is how this is being portrayed by the recent statement from AEG claiming this as a “victory.”
To say that this “suit was instigated by Azoff and paid for by MSG and Live Nation,” and that “it was hatched on the back of an artist who we believe had no idea what he was biting off,” is untrue and disrespectful to Ozzy, myself and the entire team working on this tour. Whatever differences you have with Irving Azoff, don’t presume you know who instigated the lawsuit or you know anything about Ozzy Osbourne, because you obviously don’t know anything about Ozzy’s history or mine. So stop with your hubbildy, bubbuldy BULLSHIT and your little pissing contest with Live Nation and MSG.
Regarding the allegations in the AEG statement that this “suit was a transparent public relations ploy,” if that was indeed the case, why then did AEG rush out a statement of victory? While we, throughout this process, until now have only made one statement around the initial filing.
Ozzy’s preference was to perform at The Forum, a venue that has been a part of his music history for more than 46 years. From the start, this was not a battle solely for Ozzy, as much as one for other artists who were being forced to abide by these rules and regulations. Let’s not all forget why you’re here…the artists.
The only thing remotely interesting in your statement was your pitiful attempt at humor with your quote that Ozzy “had no idea what he was biting off.” If you’re interested, Ozzy and I have got something nice for you bite on…our assholes…see ya loser!