Ozzy plans to come to Budapest in 2022

Concert round-up – so far

Entertainment winners, losers in the pandemic

The extension of Hungary’s coronavirus restrictions until February 1 places further doubt on 2021 concerts, with a couple of first-half-of-the-year concerts already falling victim to the pandemic, and fingers crossed by promoters and fans that big-name appearances in the remainder of the new year will be able to go ahead.

Two Papp László Budapest Sportaréna concerts to have fallen by the wayside are English singer Harry Styles on February 22 and Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds on May 13. Styles is postponed and tickets will be valid for a new date. Cave’s entire 33-concert UK and European tour is cancelled and ticket holders should seek refunds from the point of purchase.

Still standing as of now are Apostol 50 on March 7, Republic 30 on March 13, Celine Dion on May 11, Bangó Margit 70 on May 16, the Harlem Globetrotters on May 24, all at the Budapest Sportaréna, and British funnyman John Cleese and his “Last Time to See Me Before I Die” tour with a date at Mom Sport in District XII, Budapest, on June 13. His original date fell to the pandemic last year.

Republic is a Hungarian rock band that formed in Budapest in 1990, mixing Western rock music and traditional Hungarian folk music, so their 30 tour celebrates three decades in the business.

Hungarian band Apostol has enjoyed five decades of existence, with their jubilee concert to feature special orchestration, rarely heard songs and of course the hits.

Singer Bangó Margit will be 71 years old on April 4, 2021, having been born into a family of musicians under the name Margit Szabó. Her father played dulcimer and her mother sang. In 1967, age 17, she was encouraged by her mother to enter a Hungarian Radio talent search competition, after which the radio made recordings with her. In the 1980s she had a joint program with Pista Horváth on state television, and in the 1990s she began performing with the 100-member Gypsy Orchestra.

Playing it safe date-wise is rock ‘n’ roll “Prince of Darkness” Ozzy Osbourne, who has announced the rescheduling of his No More Tours 2, an ongoing second farewell tour. Not only does this move to 2022 but also now includes Budapest, which was not on the original agenda.

Osbourne is scheduled to play the Papp László Budapest Sportaréna on February 2 next year, almost exactly 30 years after the infamous incident during his Diary of a Madman tour in Des Moines, Iowa, on January 20, 1982, when a fan threw an unconscious bat on stage and Ozzy picked it up and bit its head off, thinking it was a toy and perhaps befuddled by off-stage stimulants.

It’s a classic rock ‘n’ roll story but bears repeating. In his book “I Am Ozzy” he said: “Immediately, though, something felt wrong. Very wrong. For a start, my mouth was instantly full of this warm, gloopy liquid, with the worst aftertaste you could ever imagine. I could feel it staining my teeth and running down my chin. Then the head in my mouth twitched. Oh fuck me, I thought. I didn’t just go and eat a fucking bat, did I?”

Following the incident, Osbourne was treated for rabies as a precaution. These days it could start a pandemic.

Will there be a Sziget festival this year? The annual “Island of Freedom” event each August was cancelled last year because of the ban on large-scale events, and a 2021 festival is undecided at present. Tickets from 2020 are automatically valid if buyers haven’t sought a refund. The same organisation that puts on Sziget also runs the Balaton Sound and Telekom VOLT Festival, so these are also up in the air at present.

Still on, fingers crossed, at Budapest Sportaréna are Pearl Jam on July 14, Kiss’ End of the Road tour on July 15, Koncz Zsuzsa on October 2, Powerwolf on October 20, Alanis Morissette on November 3, Hobo 75 on November 20 and Simply Red on December 1.

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