Michael Jackson tribute concert set for London
A Michael Jackson tribute concert will be held in London next June, organisers confirmed today. However, fans of the late pop star will have to wait to snap up tickets as the exact date and venue have not yet been decided.
Confusion surrounded the gig yesterday after organisers axed the original concert in Vienna, and moved it to the UK. Jackson’s brother Jermaine announced that the show would take place at London’s Wembley stadium, but within hours organisers said they were unable to confirm a venue or even the city where the event will take place.
Today, a spokesman for World Awards Media, which is hosting the concert, clarified the situation by saying: “The event will be staged in London in June 2010. There will be further announcements when the venue and date are confirmed.”
The Tribute: In Memory Of Michael Jackson was originally due to go ahead at a 17th-century palace in Vienna later this month, and organisers held press conferences in London and the Austrian capital earlier this week to announce the lineup, which included controversial rapper Chris Brown and R’n’B artist Mary J Blige.
But the official website for the concert announced that the show had been moved and carried quotes from Jermaine blaming sneering comments by the Austrian media – as well as difficulties in booking big names – for the move.
He said: “When artists who have won eight Grammy Awards and sold millions of records around the world and are able to sell out large stadiums are then called ‘B-list artists’, are made fun of and generally disrespected, that is something I just cannot understand. If these artists are not welcome in Vienna, London is more than happy to have them.”
A later statement from Jermaine said the change was due to schedule clashes for many performers who wanted to take part. He said: “Many artists and performers who I have spoken to personally told me that it would be a great honour to be part of this memorial concert for my late brother – an artist who influenced the music world like virtually no other.
“However, due to the short timeframe it was not possible for many of them to change their schedule so that they could be on stage in Vienna on September 26. Therefore, we decided, after careful consideration, to change the date of the tribute concert to the summer of 2010. Now we have more time to put this monumental show together and not just eight weeks.
“Michael originally wanted to start his comeback in the UK. After visiting Britain earlier this week, I think it is only fitting that we stage The Tribute there.”
Fans who have already paid out for the show are to be offered refunds, and tickets for the new gig will go on sale before the end of the year. Prices will start at £44. The concert postponement and move was the latest setback in plans for a show in honour of the singer, who died in June.
Promoters of Jackson’s string of 50 cancelled concerts at the 02 Arena in London had hoped to stage a show at the same venue last month but were unable to organise it in time.