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Monday, 27 May, 2002, 15:24 GMT 16:24 UK
Postcard from Ozzfest
Fans at Ozzfest on Saturday
Ready to rock: Fans at Ozzfest on Saturday
Ozzy Osbourne's travelling Ozzfest festival made its British stop in Donington Park on Saturday.

Headlining the Radio 1 stage was rock band Hundred Reasons - whose guitarist Larry Hibbitt sent BBC News Online his account of a day with Ozzy.

Madrid, 25 May - 0800: This is unreasonable. Wake at 8am to be driven to an airport by a man who clearly undervalues life. Last night's memories become a dull ache behind my right eye as I buckle up and white-knuckle it through the morning sun.

Why, as a reasonable human being, am I putting myself through this kind of treatment and why do I feel lucky to have "caught" five hours' sleep? The answer is Donington and the Ozzfest. I'm so excited I can barely sit still.

Luton Airport - 25 May - noon: As we join our tourbus I'm left with the overwhelming feeling that EasyJet owes my knees an explanation. I use the northbound M1 as an opportunity to stretch.

My legs, however, cannot possibly dent my sense of joy and throbbing fear. Today my band, Hundred Reasons, headline the Kerrang! / Radio 1 stage at Ozzfest. It's at Donington Park, home of rock. Life can get better, but not by much.

Ozzy Osbourne
The show's highlight: Ozzy Osbourne
Donington Park, 25 May, 1400: By the time we arrive, the day's activities are well underway. Yesterday's set at the Festimad festival in Madrid seems more than it's actual twenty hours distance away. We are tired, but we are well.

The door of our bus opens to a scene of muffled live music and horizontal hail. 60,000 brave, brave people wander the site catching their favourite bands. We wait for the rain to stop before we join them.

Our stage is in the conference centre, a long shed with an official capacity of 8,000. American band Otep are playing to a full house as we wander in. The size of the room is fearful - I leave, intimidated, to check out the main stage.

Unfortunately the main stage is still a hill away when I get called back to the bus to start today's press/ promo schedule, so five minutes of Otep is the closest I'll get to watching a band all day.

Signing on

I could closely document the next few hours but all it involves is my band mates and I sitting in a backstage tent talking about ourselves - it's just not interesting!

Lostprophets
Bottle boy: Lostprophets' Ian Watkins on stage
At about five-thirty we head to the Kerrang! signing tent. We sit at a long table and sign posters and CDs and arms. This is probably the most relaxed and, if you will, "human" part of the day - we chat with people who like our music and generally act like idiots. It's fun.

We do some more press and head back to our bus for about seven-thirty.

I'd love to say that we now relax and indulge in rock 'n' roll excess, but our stage time is eight. So we get changed and start our vocal warm-ups instead...

It's at this point that we encounter a slight drama. The 8,000-capacity conference centre is now overfilled with almost 12,000 people. The powers that be are worried about safety and are considering closing down our stage.

Our tour manager assures the security that we'll finish on time and won't start a riot and the show goes on. Phew.

Atmosphere

Imagine standing on a large platform six feet high. Imagine that it's at the end of a long, square room.

Imagine standing on that platform looking out at 12,000 people. As I peeked round the side of the stage ten minutes before our set, that is exactly what I saw. Never have I been so nervous about a show.

Hundred Reasons' Larry Hibbitt
Hundred Reasons' Larry Hibbitt: "Never have I been so nervous"
Anyway, our intro played out, we got on stage and played a set I'll remember for a very long time.

The atmosphere was incredible and for forty minutes all the work, all the years and all the lack of sleep fell to my subconscious. We didn't rock Donington, Donington rocked us. Thank you.

Immediately after our set, Colin and I are rushed in a white van to the rear of the main stage.

As we arrive, Ozzy and his band are throwing out War Pigs to a hungry audience of 60,000.

Still buzzing from our set, we do an interview with Mary Anne Hobbs live on Radio 1. She calls us "a bunch of girls". Good work.

From this point onwards things get a little hazy... drinks fly and hangovers are built.

I'd like to say thanks to everyone who took the time to watch us play and thanks to [Canadian rock band] Kittie for making fantastic drinking buddies. It was a magic day.

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21 May 02 | Entertainment
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