Jackson Fans Angry At Tribute Concert Price Cuts
LOS ANGELES — Michael Jackson fans were up in arms yesterday over reports that promoters of a planned tribute concert had slashed ticket prices and apparently offered 2-for-1 ticket deals to the October event.
The furore on the Jackson fan website and a Facebook page was the latest setback for organisers a month ahead of what was planned as a glorious tribute to the “Thriller” singer.
On Facebook, a group called Fans against Michael Forever Tribute posted a link and screenshot of a Ticketmaster UK website running a “buy 1 get 1 free” promotion that is bookable starting on September 16.
According to the posting, the offer would not apply to tickets already purchased for the October 8 “Michael Forever” concert in Cardiff, Wales.
Fan site www.mjstar.co.uk reported that ticket holders had received a message from promoters announcing prices had been slashed by up to 50 per cent.
Organisers Global Live Events did not immediately return calls yesterday for comment.
The Ticketmaster website also stated that R&B singer Beyonce will be “making a special contribution on video” to the concert. Promoters had earlier said that Beyonce would be contributing a song via satellite.
Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, Leona Lewis, Smokey Robinson and Ne-Yo are among singers giving live performances at the sports stadium venue in Cardiff, which has about 75,000 seats. Tickets went on general sale on August 24 at the end of an advance registration period.
The reported ticket deals were the latest sign of problems for the promoters. A group of 35 Michael Jackson fan clubs from around the world called in August for the tribute to be cancelled, citing confusion over charitable donations, high ticket prices, and a swiftly withdrawn invitation to Jackson critic Gene Simmons and his rock band Kiss.
The “Michael Forever Tribute” is backed by the “Thriller” singer’s mother and several of her children, but not by Jackson brothers Randy and Jermaine.
Michael’s sister Janet Jackson has said she will not attend because the concert coincides with the trial in Los Angeles of the pop star’s personal doctor, Conrad Murray, who is accused of involuntary manslaughter in his death in June 2009. Jury selection in that trial began yesterday in Los Angeles.
On Monday, Tito and Rebbie Jackson unveiled a rival singing and spoken word tribute show to their brother that will tour Britain starting in March 2012.
Jackson, 50, died in Los Angeles on June 25, 2009, of an overdose of the anaesthetic propofol, just weeks ahead of a series of planned comeback concerts in London. — Reuters