Dreamcast Presents Ozzfest 2000: The Official Event Programme

A while back, we featured an eBay auction for a Dreamcast console signed by none other than The Prince of Darkness himself, Mr John Michael Osbourne. You may know him better as Ozzy Osbourne. He's a Brummie musician who was quite famous in the 1970s, apparently. And he got so famous that he even had a music festival named in his honour: Ozzfest.
Back in 2000, Sega sponsored Ozzfest and supplied the eponymous superstar with a bounty of Dreamcasts that could be won by members of the public who competed against various headline acts in Dreamcast-related game challenges. One of these units was offered up for sale recently, although it doesn't appear to have fetched the $995 asking price. Can't think why. It'll take an entire bottle of nail polish remover to get that pen mark off. Tsk.
As you'd imagine, a touring music festival of this magnitude - sponsored by Dreamcast or not - generated a large amount of merchandise, and this post is about such an item: the official Ozzfest 2000 event programme. A gigantic book comprising 45 pages of interviews and band biographies, and made of high quality glossy paper; a book that feels like it is made from the forgotten dreams and weaved wigs of ten thousand 50-year-old men who used to wear skin tight silver trousers but who now wear beige slacks and drive their 12-year-old daughters to school in a Nissan Juke.
Taking place over the summer of 2000, Ozzfest took in numerous locations around the US and featured some of the biggest heavy metal and alt rock bands of the era. And I just happened to stumble across a mint condition copy of the aforementioned programme while browsing eBay...

Other than it being an incredible trip back into the days when Sys and P.O.D. were forces to be reckoned with in the metal and rock scenes, this programme represents perhaps the last time that Sega tried to make the Dreamcast appear relevant to a market that probably wasn't overly interested in gaming. While music and games do enjoy some audience crossover, Sega's involvement with Ozzfest smacks of an attempt to crack a subculture that might have looked intriguing from the outside, but which ultimately didn't give a fuck about corporate sponsorship.
This is quite evident in the way that, other than on the cover and on the back page, there is no mention whatsoever of the corporate overlords bankrolling the event. I can't speak about Sega's visibility at Ozzfest 2000 itself because I didn't attend any of the tour dates; but I've been to plenty of live music events and gigs, and the last thing I've wanted is to be made aware of the sponsors of the event. That said, I've at least been bombarded with adverts and imagery of said hypothetical sponsors.

Here, the Dreamcast connection is limited to a tiny logo on the front cover, and a Jet Grind Radio advert on the back. I can only imagine how many smashed rockers left the nearest mosh pit, looked at that advert through double vision and then thought about going out and buying a Dreamcast. There isn't even a mention of Sega or the Dreamcast in the 'special thanks' section at the back of the brochure, where everyone including the truck drivers and tea makers get a shout out. Cold.
Intrigued by this, I ventured into the past using the Wayback Machine to check out the official website of Ozzfest 2000, and even there there is a very small presence of Dreamcast branding or Sega logos. There's one in the little image at the top of the page, but no other content or images or anything really. I couldn't even find any information about the promotion involving the signed Dreamcast consoles. Maybe I'm not looking hard enough, but you think that'd at least get a mention. On one snapshot of the page, there's a list of tournament winners, but no hint as to what the tournament was about or what the prizes were. Very odd. Oddfest.
Actually, upon closer inspection there is one tiny mention of the Dreamcast between the covers of this programme, but even then it's little more than a broken promise. See, there's an advertisement for a Heavy Metal 2000 tie-in soundtrack, and a tiny little notice in the bottom right proudly announces that Heavy Metal F.A.K.K.2 is coming soon for PC, Mac...and Dreamcast. Now, we know that the NAOMI derived battle arena game Heavy Metal: Geomatrix came to the Dreamcast, but F.A.K.K.2 never did - even though it was reported as potentially making the leap to console. So there's that to stroke your massive chin over.
Anyway, this lack of any other Dreamcast branding in the programme is perhaps quite indicative of the complete inability of the Dreamcast brand name to penetrate mainstream or even niche musical culture, despite the not insubstantial budget ploughed into such activities by those at the top of the tree. That said, even sponsoring such an event of this magnitude was a decent attempt at at least trying to get the name known in youf culture circles. In any case, this is a very cool and fairly obscure item to own, both for Dreamcast collectors and metal music aficionados alike.

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6 comments:

dandare said...

cool! did you pick this up recently?

Tom Charnock said...

Yes, just a few days ago. There's a few still on eBay at the time of writing this comment

Anthony817 said...

Was hoping you guys would have done a story on the Dreamcast's 18th anniversary of the US launch date on 9/9/99.

Many places were pretty silent on it around the net yesterday. Normally every year it is a big celebration but seems like people forgot about it this year on lots of sites hehe, so it isn't only here. :)

Tom Charnock said...

Didn't forget, just a bit pointless. Are we supposed to do three 'birthday' articles every year for all the different launches? That'd get pretty old pretty quick would it not?

jon lee said...

love the demon graphic, very Doom. I love the articles that go beyond the games and look at the way the dreamcast merged with pop culture. Thank you mate :)

hoogafanter said...

You forget Anthony this is a limey site lol, they have a different launch birthday...

That said I really enjoyed my USA fat drunk 18th birthday this year. I took my DC to the strip club and bought it a pack of cigarettes. Then we played Resident Evil 2. Good times...