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CONCERT VENUE WAR OF WORDS RAGES ON

Just when you thought it had been reduced to a simmer, the concert booking spat continues to boil. Sharon Osbourne chastised AEG Presents over its linking London’s O2 and L.A.’s Staples Center for Ozzy’s next and possibly final tour; AEG responded that she’s pointing the finger at the wrong entity.

Variety reported that Osbourne drafted a letter taking issue with AEG Presents’ policy, writing “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 Presents CEO Jay Marciano responded by saying the “dispute is between The Forum and Staples Center and we couldn’t agree with you more — it should always be the artist’s choice,” adding in a PS, “The other guys started this!”

Those “other guys” are Azoff-MSG Entertainment, who run The Forum. Irving Azoff responded to Marciano:

“Dearest Jay

This is a pack of lies. I’ve put artists first my entire career, name one time you’ve put an aritst above your own self-interest. Why do they continue to do business with you? We do not block book Madison Square Garden and The Forum, it is well-established. You guys continue to use lies to validate your anti-artist, anti-industry behavior.

Love, Irving.

PS – Sharon, you rock. You’re welcome at The Forum any time.”

Live Nation is promoting Osbourne’s No More Tours 2, which starts 8/30 and runs through 10/13 in the U.S. after South America and Europe legs. No U.K. dates have been announced yet.

Sharon Osbourne told Pollstar, “I truly don't care how they choose to conduct their business. But when it affects my family it becomes my business.

"Ozzy loves the Forum, and isn't as comfortable at Staples Center. He played the Forum when he was 21! He is 70 now. And he loves The O2 in London. These are arenas he wants to be in. They wanted signatures saying we would only play Staples Center if we agreed to The O2 and they could sue us if we didn't. So I said, 'fuck you.'"

The “problem,” if there is one, might be a moot point: Ozzy's L.A. stop is at the Hollywood Bowl.

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