Bill Ward out of Black Sabbath's summer gigs

The drummer won't be playing at the Birmingham, Download and Lollapalooza shows

Bill Ward out of Black Sabbath's summer gigs

Chris Eustace - 15 May 2012

The original Sabbath drummer’s participation in the band’s shows at Birmingham’s O2 Academy, Download Festival 2012 and Lollapalooza 2012 had been in doubt for many months, after he posted on Facebook that he would be “unable to continue” as part of the band’s recording and touring plans unless a “signable contract” was presented to him.

In a statement on his website, Ward claimed that he only been asked to play three songs with the band at their headline appearance at Download 2012: "I was not willing to participate in that offer. I was not prepared to watch another drummer play a Sabbath set, while I was to play only three songs," he said.

He also said that he had only heard of the band’s homecoming warm-up show when it was advertised online, and was then asked to play the show for free:  “I found out about the Birmingham gig on Monday, April 30 through the Internet ad…The offer we received on May 9 was ‘come to the UK, play for free and see how the first show goes.’ I was tempted.” 

He continued: “Playing for free would not have been a problem for me, but “seeing how the first show goes” left an element of risk which could have affected Download. My ideal thought was to play in full the Birmingham show, in full Download, and in full Lollapalooza…I had to say “no” to Birmingham on the principle of wanting to play all the shows.”

Adding that he held “no malice or resentment towards the other band members,” he reiterated his “willingness to negotiate ‘signable’ terms with Sabbath’s representatives in the future.”

Black Sabbath headline the closing night of Download Festival 2012 at Donington Park on Sunday 10 June.

Other acts on the Download Festival line-up include Metallica, The Prodigy, Soundgarden, Biffy Clyro, Chase & Status and You Me At Six.

Download Festival tickets are on sale now, with Weekend Camping tickets priced at £190 (including booking fee).

Click here to buy Download Festival tickets


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