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A year and a half could be a lifetime for Ozzy Osbourne

As the possessor of one of the most famously befuddled minds in the annals of rock ‘n’ roll excess, it seems entirely appropriate that there might be some confusion around the date when geriatric Ozzy Osbourne will finally give his twice-postponed shock show in Budapest.

Will it be on this coming February 2 at the Papp László Budapest Sportaréna, as shown on the first page of the list of programmes on the venue’s website? Or will it be on May 17, 2023, as shown on the sixth and final page? Surely it won’t be both, when we are talking about a performer who pulled out of his previous dates because of ill health.

Presumably we can rely on Ozzy’s own website, which is definite, perhaps optimistically, in informing that the new dates for “No More Tours 2 – Celebrating 5 Decades of the Prince of Darkness … Live!” – open in Helsinki, Finland, on May 3, 2023 then proceed through Sweden, Germany, Spain, Italy, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Switzerland and the UK for 18 more shows, concluding in Birmingham on June 14. Budapest is listed for May 17.

Only 17 and a half months to wait, then. The Papp László listing for this coming February is obviously an old postponed one, and the arena’s webmaster might need a dressing down. Osbourne was born on December 3, 1948 in Aston, Birmingham, UK – which explains that final date of June 14, 2023; it’s in his home town – and so when, or if, he does finally arrive in Budapest he will be 74 years of age and pushing it a bit.

The new dates will come three years after the tour was originally due to take place. “No More Tours 2” is the ongoing second farewell tour by the British bat-munching vocalist, the first being “No More Tours” way back in 1992. The latest tour’s South American and European legs were announced in November 2017, and North American dates in February 2018.

A press release said it would be his final world tour but didn’t rule out the possibility of further one-off shows. In January 2019 it was announced through Osbourne’s website that the European leg of the tour was to be postponed until later in the year due to illness, and would resume in Australia in March, but this leg of the tour was cancelled.

The European leg of the tour was rescheduled for September. Ozzy was due to start his 2020 North American Tour in May, but in February 2020 he cancelled because he was scheduled to go to Switzerland in April to undergo medical treatment for six to eight weeks

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Osbourne’s health resulting in the cancellation of performances in 2019 and 2020, his wife and manager Sharon Osbourne later confirmed in October 2020 that Ozzy would resume touring again in 2022.

The rock star has struggled with his health in recent years, and has revealed he has Parkinson’s disease. The second postponement of his European tour in October 2020 came the day before it was scheduled to start in Newcastle, UK. Fans were left frustrated because although Sharon Osbourne had said in an interview that it would be delayed, they felt there was a lack of official confirmation.

The “No More Tours 2 tour” had been scheduled to start on a Friday and tickets for the 2020 dates remained on sale until Thursday afternoon, despite coronavirus restrictions making shows impossible at previous capacity levels. It was the last tour still in arena schedules that side of 2021.

The former Black Sabbath frontman put out a statement: “I really want to thank my fans for their loyalty and for waiting for me. Believe me, I can’t wait to see you all again. Please stay safe in these uncertain times.”

It left some fans criticising the fact that there had been no official update from the promoters, venues, Ticketmaster or Ozzy’s website or social channels. Initially, Sharon Osbourne said the tour had been rearranged for 2022. “Everybody’s booking their tours again for like 2022, and to find availabilities right now, it’s crazy,” she said. “Agents and facilities are going nuts, trying to get everybody back.”

One thing is for sure, it’s all very confusing, and the Papp László can be excused.

Promoters Live Nation said tickets would remain valid for the new dates and refunds “must be sought at point of purchase”. Expect the heavy metal “Prince of Darkness” in Budapest on May 17, 2023, hopefully. Tickets are HUF 12,900 to 33,900. Osbourne was last in town in June 2016 with Black Sabbath on their 81-show “The End” tour.

We wish Ozzy the best of health but perhaps it’s time to consider stopping throwing himself around the continent any more, except perhaps further appointments in Switzerland.

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