This year's edition of theOzzfest heavy metal tour recently concluded in Dallas. Michael Keller has been lighting director for Ozzfest the last three years; this year he took over design duties from Patrick Woodroffe. “They decided to keep it on this side of the pond and just go with me,” he quipped.

Ozzfest 2002 featured “an average of at least 20 bands a day” on two stages, the first show starting at 9:30am. “They average about 3,000 people at 9:30,” Keller noted. “The second stage is a mobile stage, and it goes in at 4:00 in the morning. It sets up in three hours. And the main stage, we go in at 8am and have to be ready by 12. This year is the most lighting they've had, but we have a real good team and it goes up quickly, and everyone seems real happy.”

The design concept behind the show was simple yet atmospheric: a proscenium-like truss outline with tattered maroon velvet drapes for a spooky, abandoned theatre look. “There's no real set, but we have a 40' by 12'-high video wall, and we're using old theatrical drapes that are all ripped and torn, and there's a black drop behind that. And we have three horseshoe-shaped arches, each one slightly smaller, so it gives you a forced perspective.”

Lighting equipment for the tour was supplied by LSD/Fourth Phase Los Angeles and Syncrolite. Keller specified 58 High End Systems Studio Color® 575s, 46 in the air and 12 on the floor, for general automated wash, and 36 High End x.Spots with 2x zoom, 24 in the air and 12 on the floor, for his high-output hard-edged fixtures. The LD says he chose both models for their “reliability and ability to change colors quickly.” There were 24 ETC Source Fours used as truss toners, 72 narrow PAR-64s for general side fill wash, and 44 PAR-64 ACLs for “conventional fingers of light.” He added 12 Syncrolite 3kWs because “there's nothing quite like them;” there were also 24 Diversitronics 3000 strobes.

“The Osbourne camp is one of the best I've ever worked with,” Keller concluded. “They're just really good people, and they really care about each other and look out for each other, and we have one of the best production managers in the business, Dale “Opie” Skjerseth. All in all, it's been a real enjoyable adventure. It's been a very successful tour, probably one of the most successful metal tours ever. It's in its sixth year, I think. It just keeps going and going.”