Hundreds of Black Sabbath fans are expected to watch their favourite band being presented with a ‘heavy metal’ bench at a VIP ceremony in Birmingham next month.
The uniquely designed steel bench – incorporating images of the band’s original four members – will eventually be placed on the renamed Black Sabbath Bridge across the canal on Birmingham’s Broad Street.
Black Sabbath fans have now been invited to apply for a limited supply of 350 tickets to attend the heavy metal bench presentation ceremony at 11am on Saturday 9 February at St Luke’s Church on Gas Street.
Mike Olley, manager of Westside Business Improvement District (BID), said: “We’re so excited to be arranging this spectacular event when we expect Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward to accept the bench, honouring what’s arguably Birmingham’s most famous band.”
Black Sabbath super-fan Mohammed Osama, who initiated the commemorative idea and has worked closely with Westside BID on the project, said: “I’m thrilled that my plan to pay tribute to Black Sabbath in their home town has finally reached this presentation stage.”
Mr Osama is a 35-year-old consultant architect originally from Egypt who has lived and worked in Dubai for almost 27 years.
He became a die-hard Black Sabbath fan aged eight and has since followed the band around the world, watching them more than 50 times in four different continents and becoming close friends with several band members.
Mr Osama added: “The handmade, stainless steel bench is now being forged in the city and will feature images of Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward for Black Sabbath fans, citizens and tourists to enjoy.”
The bench artwork was created by Egyptian artist Tarek Abdelkawi – an illustrator, graphic designer and musician with an architectural background – and the words ‘Geezer. Ozzy. Tony. Bill. Made in Birmingham 1968’ will be etched on it.
The artwork has been applied by Etch Components, based in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, and is being incorporated into the bench’s final manufacture by Gateway Steel Fabricators, based in Tyseley.
Ben Lungley, of Gateway Steel Fabricators, said: “We love making unique products and it’s been a delight working on this project with Mohammed and Westside BID. It’s a tricky process incorporating the design in steel and making the artwork come to life, but the end-product will be stunning.”
Mike Olley of Westside BID also revealed the event will see Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward awarded his own star on the city’s Walk of Stars, which honours famous people from Birmingham.
He said this star, along with those previously awarded to the other three band members and a fifth star to the band itself, will be realigned in the shape of a cross in front of the heavy metal bench on Black Sabbath Bridge.
Both the heavy metal bench and new stars will be presented at the 9 February event by Birmingham’s renowned comedian Jasper Carrott, chair of the city’s Walk of Stars project.
Mr Olley said Westside BID was grateful to Councillor Waseem Zaffar, Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment on Birmingham City Council, for helping gain permission to rename the canal bridge as Black Sabbath Bridge.
Mr Olley added: “Black Sabbath’s most ardent fans will be keen to witness this historic event and tens of thousands will enjoy visiting the heavy metal bench once it’s in place on Black Sabbath Bridge.”
Black Sabbath’s heavy metal bench presentation is at 11am on Saturday 9 February at St Luke’s Gas Street Church, 41 Gas Street, Birmingham B1 2JT.
Tickets are priced at £12 each and the proceeds will be donated to the Westside Charitable Endeavour, dedicated to recording the area’s historical attributes.
Black Sabbath fans wanting to buy tickets to attend the event should apply here to Westside BID via Eventbrite.