Black Sabbath replace numerous summer reunion gigs with Ozzy & Friends shows

Band still scheduled to perform at Download festival despite Tony Iommi's battle with lymphoma

Black Sabbath have reworked their summer reunion gig schedule as guitarist Tony Iommi continues to battle lymphoma.

The metal legends, who announced they were reuniting with their original line-up last year, will still headline Download festival on June 10 but have replaced many of their previously announced European festival dates with Ozzy & Friends gigs.

The shows will see frontman Ozzy Osbourne joined by special guests including Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash, Geezer Butler and Zakk Wylde.

In a statement on their official website,, the band said Iommi was making “excellent progress” and said he was “looking forward to getting back on the road”.

It added the group had reworked their plans to avoid “[letting] the promoters and fans down” and confirmed they were continuing to work on new material for a forthcoming album.

Black Sabbath are currently in a dispute with original drummer Bill Ward over their reunion plans. Earlier this month, Ward released a statement revealing he was unhappy with the contract for the band’s new album and world tour and claimed he would not take part in the new album sessions and shows if a ‘fair agreement’ was not met.

A subsequent statement from Osbourne, Iommi and Butler indicated they would carry on regardless of Ward’s involvement.

In another Facebook post, Ward yesterday (February 17) denied he had pulled out of the reunion, but said he was waiting to receive a “signable contract”. He added: “Last week, we sent further communication to the attorney handling the negotiations to reach an agreement”.

Ozzy & Friends/Black Sabbath will play the following dates:

Helsinki Hartwall Arena (May 23)
Stockholm Stadium (25)
Denmark Jelling Festival (27)
Norway Bergen Calling Festival (29)
Oslo Spektrum (31)
Malmo Stadium (June 2)
Dortmund Westhalenhalle (4)
O2 Arena Prague (6)
Download festival (10 – Black Sabbath show)
Spain Azkena Rock Festival (15)
France Clisson Hellfest (17)
Belgium Graspop Metal Meeting (22)
Italy Gods Of Metal Festival (24)
Vienna Stadthalle (26)
Belgrade USCE Park (28)
Greece Rockwave Festival-Terra (July 1)

To check the availability of Download Festival 2012 tickets and get all the latest listings, go to NME.COM/TICKETS now, or call 0871 230 1094.

The rest of the Download Festival line-up so far is as follows:

The Prodigy
Biffy Clyro
You Me At Six
Chase & Status
Tenacious D
Machine Head
Black Veil Brides
Killswitch Engage
Rise Against
Steel Panther
Five Finger Death Punch
Kyuss Lives
Billy Talent
Black Label Society
As I Lay Dying,
Reckless Love
Fear Factory
Ginger Wildheart
Lamb Of God
August Burns Red
Little Angels
Devin Townsend Project
Ugly Kid Joe