The reunited band will still headline the Download Festival on Sunday, June 10.
But all the rest of the European shows will now be played under the name of Ozzy & Friends. Ozzy Osbourne will be joined by bassist Geezer Butler and guitarist Zakk Wylde for the gigs.
The reason for this decision is Tony Iommi’s ongoing battle against lymphoma – although it’s being stressed that the guitarist continues to make good progress.
In the meantime, drummer Bill Ward has clarified his current position with Sabbath with the following statement:
“As my statement of February 2, 2012 indicated, I have not declined to participate in the Sabbath album and tour. At the earliest opportunity, I am prepared to go to the UK and record, and later tour with the band.
“Last week, we sent further communication to the attorney handling the negotiations to try to reach an agreement. At this time we are waiting to hear back. I remain hopeful for a ’signable’ contract and a positive outcome.
“I want to thank everyone who has voiced and posted their opinions, thoughts, support and love through all media, including the newly constructed sites. I applaud your worldwide reaction in support of the original band. And speaking for myself, your intent and truth will always be respected.
“While believing in your freedom for expression, keep in mind that Tony, Ozzy and Geezer are still my lifetime friends, and I cannot support comments with an objectifying or derogatory theme toward them or their various representatives.
“Many thanks to all of you. You are truly phenomenal.”
Find out more at www.blacksabbath.com
Dates for the Ozzy & Friends tour are as follows:
5/23 – Helsinki, Finland Hartwall Arena
5/25 – Stockholm, Sweden Stadium
5/27 – Jelling, Denmark Jelling Festival
5/29 – Bergen, Norway Bergen Calling Festival
5/31 – Oslo, Norway Spektrum
6/2 – Malmo, Sweden Malmo Stadium
6/4 – Dortmund, Germany Westfalenhalle
6/6 – Prague, Czech Rep O2 Arena
6/15 – Vitoria, Spain Azkena Rock Festival
6/17 – Clisson, France Hellfest
6/22 – Dessel, Belgium Graspop Metal Meeting
6/24 – Milan, Italy Gods of Metal Festival
6/26 – Vienna, Austria Stadthalle
6/28 – Belgrade, Serbia USCE Park
7/1 – Athens, Greece Rockwave Festival