Ailing Ozzy Osbourne pulls out of Power Trip festival: 'My body is telling me that I'm just not ready'

The metal festival was set to be Osbourne's first full concert since New Year's Eve 2018.

Ozzy Osbourne performs at the NFL Kickoff on Sept. 8, 2022, the last time he was onstage. (Photo: AP/John McCoy)
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Last December, in an exclusive interview with Yahoo Entertainment, Ozzy Osbourne declared, “I just wanna get back on that stage. I've gotta get back on that stage. It’s driving me nuts, not being able to. … It's not a job, what I do. It’s a passion.” At that time, the 74-year-old heavy metal legend had been planning to resume his long-delayed “No More Tours II” tour in spring 2023, but a month after speaking with Yahoo, he announced that he was officially retiring from touring due to a 2003 spinal injury that he re-aggravated in 2019.

However, in his January 2023 statement, Osbourne clarified that his team was “coming up with ideas for where I will be able to perform without having to travel from city to city and country to country” — and that solution seemed to be this coming October’s Power Trip festival. Held in Indio only a three-hour drive from Osbourne’s Los Angeles home, the metal fest was to feature Osbourne playing Saturday on a co-headlining bill with AC/DC. But now Osbourne has once again taken to social media with a disappointing update, revealing that he isn’t well enough to perform so soon.

“As painful as this is, I’ve had to make the decision to bow out of performing on Power Trip in October,” Osbourne announced Monday. “My original plan was to return to the stage in the summer of 2024... Unfortunately, my body is telling me that I’m just not ready yet and I am much too proud to have the first show that I do in nearly five years be half-assed... I want to thank my fans, my band, and my crew for their unconditional loyalty and continual support. I love you all and I will see you soon. God Bless, Ozzy.”

Osbourne performed twice in 2022 — in August at the Commonwealth Games Closing Ceremony in his native Birmingham, England, and at September’s NFL Kickoff at Los Angeles’s SoFi Stadium — but he only sang two songs at each event. His last full show was on New Year’s Eve 2018 at L.A.’s Forum, and it was after that concert that the “floodgates opened,” resulting in the health problems he is sadly facing now during “the longest time I've been sick in my life.”

“You can go to bed, wake up tomorrow, and you could be different,” Osbourne told Yahoo Entertainment last December. “About 2003, I had that quad bike accident, right? But I checked myself outta hospital, and I carried on working. Then, I found out that I had Parkinson's disease. So, I just figured everything went down to the Parkinson's, as all these things started to melt on me. Four years ago, I did a New Year's Eve show at the Forum. I came back to the house here, and I got up to use the bathroom in the night. Never put any lights on. Went to the bathroom, came back, and I thought in the darkness, ‘Well, my bed must be about there.’ And I jumped on the bed — but it weren’t there. I miscalculated. I landed really badly on the floor. I just fell flat and I lay there. And I said, ‘Sharon, you better call the doctor, an ambulance, because think I broke my neck.’ I knew I'd landed really badly. I just laid there till the ambulance came.

“It turned out that from the accident in 2003, I’d damaged my spinal column. It was pinching on my nerve. I had all these malfunctions. I was walking weird and whatever, but it was not from the Parkinson's — it turned out that I'd squashed the tube where spinal cord goes, and there was this pressure,” Ozzy continued. “And so, I went into the hospital and this guy said to me, ‘If you don't have surgery, you’ve got a good chance of being paralyzed. Sorry, but you gotta do the surgery.’”

Ozzy Osbourne performs during the Commonwealth Games Closing Ceremony in Birmingham, England, Monday, Aug. 8, 2022. (Photo: AP/Alastair Grant)
Ozzy Osbourne performs during the Commonwealth Games Closing Ceremony in Birmingham, England, Monday, Aug. 8, 2022. (Photo: AP/Alastair Grant)

Unfortunately, Osbourne didn’t get a second opinion, and he told Yahoo he now deeply regrets having the recommended operation in 2021, which inserted 15 screws in his spine. “[That surgeon] completely did a bad job. … I came out of surgery, and I've been crippled ever since,” he said. “And I just thought, ‘Well, maybe it's gonna take a bit longer to get back to normal.’ But that never materialized. I walk better now, I'm a bit better than I was, but I've still got a ways to go. It’s amazing, what something so silly and simple can do to the rest of your life. It's crazy. I've had nothing but trouble for the last four years. … I’ve had two surgeries since to put right what this guy has done, but the damage that that surgeon did was worse [than the Parkinson's].”

Osbourne underwent what his wife Sharon described as another “life-changing” operation in June 2022, and as of last December he was in physical therapy, “where they put these bionic legs on you — it's a Japanese thing.” At that time, Ozzy optimistically said he was “about 70% better,” but apparently he still needs more time to get back to 100%. However, the rock ‘n’ roll survivor told Yahoo Entertainment, “Considering all the things I'd gotten away with over the years, I can't really complain. … You name it, I've been there, I've done it, and I've survived. It eventually caught me and bit me on the butt, but it ain't killed me. And I ain't gonna stop. .. I could say let’s call it a day, but I can't stop. There’s nothing like a good gig, and there's nothing like a bad gig — because a bad gig makes you wanna do a good gig, better than before! A great gig is better than any sex or drug. There’s nothing to compare it to.”

Power Trip will take place at Indio’s Empire Polo Club, the same site as the Coachella and Stagecoach festivals, Oct. 6-8, with Guns N’ Roses and Iron Maiden playing Friday and Metallica and Tool playing Sunday. Osbourne’s replacement for the Saturday lineup will be announced soon.

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