Ozzy Osbourne has officially canceled his appearance at SXSW. The former Black Sabbath frontman was set to appear to promote the upcoming A&E special Biography: The Nine Lives of Ozzy Osbourne, which will air sometime this summer. After Osbourne had recently opened up about his diagnosis with Parkinson's, a statement was released on Thursday that cited his ongoing concerns about the coronavirus as the primary reason for the decision.
"Following recent cancellations by major corporations, artists, record companies and studios because of the ongoing threat of the coronavirus, Ozzy Osbourne has likewise decided to cancel his upcoming appearance at SXSW," the statement read, according to Variety.
His wife Sharon Osbourne as well as his children Jack and Kelly Osbourne were also slated to appear at the annual festival, though it's unclear if that will happen. The screening itself is still currently listed on the SXSW online schedule.
Osbourne's withdrawal marks the latest in a long line of companies and studios withdrawing from the festival due to concerns about the coronavirus. According to the running tally kept by KVUE, Netflix, Amazon, Warner Media and Apple have all pulled a number of screenings and panels from the slate. Major tech platforms including Facebook, TikTok, Twitter and LinkedIn are also sitting SXSW out this year for the same reason.
Despite some outspoken calls to cancel the festival, including a Change.org petition with just over 50,000 signatures, SXSW is still proceeding, albeit with a significantly deflated lineup.
In February, Osbourne was forced to cancel his No More Tears 2 tour, again due to concerns about his health. In a statement to Variety, he said he was "so thankful that everyone has been patient because I've had a s— year."
"Unfortunately, I won't be able to get to Switzerland for treatment until April and the treatment takes six [to] eight weeks. I don't want to start a tour and then cancel shows at the last minute, as it's just not fair to the fans. I'd rather they get a refund now and when I do the North American tour down the road, everyone who bought a ticket for these shows will be the first ones in line to purchase tickets at that time."
Despite his setbacks, Osbourne is still eyeing a return to the stage, telling Good Morning Britain that it would be the "best medication I can get is being back in front of an audience."