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Photo Credit: Ross Halfin

Photo Credit: Ross Halfin

More than 75,000 music fans came together this past weekend (Saturday, September 24 and Sunday, September 25) to celebrate metal at the first-ever . It was truly an amped up experience, as two of the most well-known and established brands in rock joined forces this year to create the biggest metal festival in North America EVER for the Live Nation-produced event–held at San Manuel Amphitheater and Festival Grounds in San Bernardino, CA.

This double-header music and lifestyle weekend like no other on the planet was led by headliners and festival namesakes BLACK SABBATH (featuring OZZFEST founder OZZY OSBOURNE on Saturday) and SLIPKNOT (Sunday headliners for KNOTFEST). The festival marked BLACK SABBATH‘s final Southern California show, and SLIPKNOT‘s performance encompassed the first time they performed their classic Iowa album–celebrating its 15th anniversary this year–in its entirety.

Photo Credit: Strati Hovartos

Photo Credit: Strati Hovartos

“Ozzfest was just the perfect way for Black Sabbath to say farewell to the fans in Southern California,” says Sharon Osbourne.  “Being there made Ozzy and I realize how much we missed having Ozzfest and we want to thank all of the fans for being so loyal.  Also a big thank you to all of the bands who performed some incredible sets.”

Here’s some early critical praise of the event:

OC WEEKLY, 9-27-16:  “Over the weekend, we made our way to San Bernardino to witness…the pairing of the two biggest festivals in metal music…a two day long blow out with 40 of the of the biggest names in contemporary metal music…After waiting on baited breath all Summer, fans finally got what they had been waiting for at the San Manuel Amphitheater.  Hordes of people endured the punishing San Bernardino heat, which reached in the mid-nineties both days of the festival. The true die-hards opted to camp at Glen Helen Regional Park Friday to Sunday…The event had several stages to host the myriad of demonic bands…the site was filled with various attractions to catch in between sets, including fire shows and monster trucks. But like most of the concert goers, we were there for one thing and one thing only: To catch every moment of skull crushing, mosh pitting…”

AXS.COM, 9-26-16:  “…tens of thousands of hardcore music fans gathered…the highly anticipated two day heavy metal festival, …avid music fans of all ages, moved from one stage to the next, enjoying the cathartic collective experience via live music, coupled with the face-to-face social community seminal in today’s music festivals…one thing is for sure…music is everything to the super-dedicated music fans who splurged for the experience. Fans who form the bedrock of what might possibly be the last bastion of true freedom, a contemporary utopian if you will, where the young and old can play together without getting caught up in preconceived notions.”

LOUDWIRE, 9-27-16:  “There was something special in the air for…Ozzfest Meets Knotfest…one of the largest attended shows at the venue in years…As Osbourne wished everyone a good night and the foursome took a final bow, it was a sea of raised ‘horns’ from the audience while fireworks shot off in the sky.”

PRESS ENTERPRISE (RIVERSIDE), 9-25-16:  “The end may be near for Black Sabbath, which is on its farewell tour, but tens of thousands of fans at Ozzfest weren’t ready to say goodbye at San Manuel Amphitheater in Devore on Saturday…Where Black Sabbath ended its Southern California reign was also the birthplace of Ozzfest 20 years ago…The history Ozzfest has with the venue is one of the reasons Sharon Osbourne said it was right for Black Sabbath’s final California show…Perhaps the saddest realization of Black Sabbath calling it quits is that we aren’t going to see these musicians who truly gave life to heavy metal play together again…a very metal evening, as Butler’s bass shook the seats at the amphitheater Saturday night and Iommi played the classic riffs up and down the fretboard.”

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