Sharon Osbourne is claiming that AEG Live is blackmailing Ozzy into playing a venue he doesn’t want to perform at.
Sharon has alleged that AEG is using a practice called “block-booking” to force her husband to perform at the Staples Center in Los Angeles against his wishes.
Ozzy had tentatively agreed to perform at London’s O2 Arena on February 11th, 2019 as part of his “No More Tours 2” farewell run, but Sharon claims that AEG attempted to add a provision stating that if Ozzy played an indoor arena within 25 miles of Los Angeles that was promoted by competitor Live Nation during the tour, he would have to play the AEG-owned Staples Center as well.
Sharon wrote in an open letter, “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.”
AEG Live chairman/CEO Jay Maricano responded, “Dear Sharon, Thank you for your note. Please understand this dispute is between The Forum and Staples Center and we couldn’t agree with you more — it should always be the artist’s choice. We long for the days when artists and fans came first. PS — The other guys started this first!
Sharon responded a day later, saying, “This is a staggering attempt to blackmail Ozzy into playing your venue in Los Angeles. It is also a complete abuse of bargaining power and not conducive to a free market.
Sharon threatened legal action against AEG if Ozzy’s London date was not confirmed, adding, “I find the way you’re conducting yourself and your company to be no more than childish playground tactics. I cannot be involved in a squabble between two venue owning promoters as my interests only lie 100 percent with Ozzy.”
AEG did not respond to Sharon’s latest remarks. Live Nation has not commented publicly on the matter.