The Greatest Gig I Never Went To

13 May 2019

Could you forgive yourself for missing out on a legendary gig?

For ten years, tech giants Apple ran the ‘iTunes Festival’ at the infamous Roundhouse in Camden. The festival, which became known for its month long stint beginning in July, had the unique feature of spreading its line-up of household names across 30 days.

The length of the festival was not its only unique feature, the tickets were also free and won via a prize draw entered into from iTunes on your iPhone. It was here that possibly the worst mistake of my life began.

In 2010, with the promise of seeing some of the worlds biggest artists, my friend and I both entered the prize draw. Bands such as Foals, Everything Everything and Biffy Clyro were just a few on the lineup that year. To be brutally honest with you about our intentions, we thought it was a bit of a laugh and never expected anything to come of it. We were young and life in the small town where we grew up wasn’t all that exciting, so we tried to be more active with attending gigs and festivals, and the iTunes Festival was one that really stood out for us (especially being free).

Days passed since we entered the competition and obviously it slipped our minds completely… that was until my friend sent me a screenshot of an email from iTunes pronouncing “Congratulations! You have won two tickets to see OZZY OSBOURNE on the 3rd of July!”.

Now, to get my excuses in early for the horror show I’m about to share with you, back in 2010 my knowledge of the Prince of Darkness wasn’t that strong; obviously I was aware of his classics like Crazy Train and Paranoid (with Black Sabbath), but not (and it pains me to say this now) enough to put the effort in and travel to London despite being aware of the man’s legendary status. Also, as a side note, we received the email the day before the gig and who can make room for a rock god on a days notice.

With our youthful naivety, we made the ridiculous decision not to go. We spent the rest of the day desperately trying to convince ourselves that we had made the right choice, with silly lies such as “The Roundhouse is probably too far from us” or “We probably won’t enjoy seeing a living legend”. Oh boy, we were wrong.

On the day of the gig, iTunes live streamed the whole thing on YouTube and it did nothing to ease our fears that we’d fucked up. Ozzy put on one hell of a show! The gig looked AMAZING and we weren’t there. The crowd were going crazy, the atmosphere was rocking, Ozzy was jumping from one side of the stage to the other, the light show was on point… it was just everything we hoped it wouldn’t be!

Not to mention that if I did attend that gig, it would’ve been my first ever live concert experience! Imagine being introduced to the world of gigging with a powerhouse like Ozzy. Shame on me.

Today, I am a huge Black Sabbath and Ozzy fan. Not going to that gig still remains one of the biggest regret’s of my life and the fact that they have now disbanded makes it even more unlikely that I’ll ever get that type of opportunity again.

So, I guess the moral of the story is, if you win a FREE ticket to go see one of the BIGGEST names in music, do not hesitate! Trust me, I learned the hard way.