Judas Priest Are Weighing Their Options After Their Tour with Ozzy’s Been Cancelled
Yesterday, the metal world was shocked in the early morning hours to learn that the legendary Ozzy Osbourne was not only unable to commit to his UK/European tour later this year, but that his ongoing health issues meant he was done touring all together. It feels like an end of an era for many fans, but for Judas Priest, who were supposed to support Ozzy on that tour, yesterday’s news also put them in a tight spot.
You see, Priest and Ozzy have been planning their UK/European tour together since 2019. Unfortunately, that plan had to be pushed back multiple times because of Ozzy’s health in addition to a little thing called the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, it looked like 2023 was finally going to be the time, with the tour slated to kick off in Helsinki, Finland on May 3 and come to a close in Ozzy’s hometown of Birmingham on June 14.
In the wake of Ozzy’s announcement, Judas Priest put out a heartfelt statement offering condolences and wishes of support for the former Black Sabbath vocalist, while simultaneously letting fans know they’re looking at other options.
“We send all our love and support for Ozzy and thank our fans in the UK and Ireland especially for your loyalty by standing with us….. Right now we’re looking at feasible opportunities to see each other again soon and will post update’s accordingly.”
As one of the world’s biggest legacy bands, Judas Priest have had their fair share of health issues in recent years, with long-time guitarist Glenn Tipton’s Parkinson’s Disease diagnosis forcing him to (mostly) retire from touring, even though he sometimes joins the band on stage for short periods of time. Still, Rob Halford recently said in an interview with Australia’s Heavy that Ozzy’s recent health issues shows how important it is for the band to keep forging forward while they still can.
“Life is life. And you do what you can to deal with the adversity that puts itself in your path. We’re going through that with Glenn. Let me just rephrase that — Glenn’s going through that himself with his great battle against Parkinson’s [disease] that he’s dealing with. And he’s a wonderful example — a really, really strong, powerful example — of somebody that’s fighting back and pushing back and still living an active life with this challenge.
“Glenn comes out and joins us when he can. He’s still an active, full member of Judas Priest. If he’s not able to make [any of the shows], he’s with us in spirit, in the songs that he’s written, and he’s up on the big screen.
“So, yeah, it is what it is. We’re all getting on. But we’re absolutely determined to keep going and live our lives in metal and share it with our fans.”
We’ll have to keep an eye out for any new European and UK tour dates for Judas Priest, as it sounds like they’ll at least try to make it back out there without Ozzy. It’s still wild to think the “Prince of Darkness” is done…