At Least 2 Injured as Ozzy Osbourne Fans Surge to Stage


Ozzy Osbourne, the notorious veteran of the rock group Black Sabbath, invited Saturday night concert-goers to join him onstage at the Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre, inciting what one witness described as pandemonium and sending at least two people to a hospital for minor medical treatment.

While another witness said the onstage crush was somewhat crazier than the average heavy metal concert, Paula McCone, 27, of Diamond Bar--her voice still shaking more than 16 hours later--described it as “a living nightmare. . . . It was the most stupid thing I’ve ever seen anybody do.”

Spokesmen for Osbourne, who is most widely known for having bitten the head off a bat during one of his performances, could not be reached. Irvine police said they had no information about the incident.


Witnesses said Osbourne ended his performance by stating that he wanted to make the show a night to remember, then invited the crowd to join his band onstage. About 500 people surged toward the stage, many ending in the orchestra pit, said Alex Stojsic, a 20-year-old student who attended the performance.

The show was in part a tribute to Black Sabbath’s late guitarist Randy Rhoads and had been rescheduled in midweek from the Long Beach Civic Center. A portion of the proceeds were to go to build a tomb for Rhoads in San Bernardino, where his current grave site has been repeatedly desecrated by souvenir-hungry fans. Rhoads died 10 years ago in a plane crash in Florida.

McCone, an expectant mother who was sitting in the third row, said she was bruised and battered by the crush of people. “It was horrifying to see people screaming, to see people knocked to the floor. I was getting bashed upside the head. There was no getting out,” she said, adding that metal chairs were flattened, men got into fist fights and equipment was damaged.

“How much brains does a 45-year-old man have to have to invite a whole bunch of heavy metal rockers on stage?” she asked. “What does he think is going to happen?”

Two concert-goers sought emergency medical treatment for minor lacerations, said an administrator at Irvine Medical Center.

“It started getting a little out of hand,” Stojsic said, “but I’ve seen it worse at other shows.”