Michael Jackson tribute canceled; moved to 2010

September 11th, 2009 - 8:18 pm ICT by BNO News  

VIENNA (BNO NEWS) — The tribute in Vienna in memory of Michael Jackson has been cancelled and will now be rescheduled for June, 2010 in London, organizers said on Friday.

The tribute concert, for which a large number of famous artists are expected to attend, was originally planned for September 26 in Vienna in front of Schoenbrunn Palace. Instead, it will now be held in June, 2010 at Wembley Stadium in London. All ticket holders will receive a refund for the tickets they have purchased for the Vienna concert, the organizers said in a statement.

“Many artists and performers who I have spoken to personally told me that it would be a great honor to be part of this memorial concert for my late brother — an artist who influenced the music world like virtually no other,” Jermaine Jackson said. “However, due to the short time frame 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 June 2010 — just a few weeks before the first anniversary of his untimely death,” Jermaine explained. “Now we have 8 months to put this monumental show together and not just 8 weeks. Despite the short amount of time we would have been able to stage a great show, in keeping with Michael’s high standards, but numerous starts were just not able to change their schedules to make a live appearance at the Vienna event possible.”

In the recent week, after Jermaine Jackson announced the line-up of the concert, a number of artists were surprised to find out they were included. Some of them told websites such as TMZ.com, they were not aware of such plans.

“The stage concept of an imperial theater for the tribute for the Vienna show will be exactly the same for the Wembley event and a gigantic crown will be the center of the stage. Wembley Stadium is a legendary venue and one of the most famous event locations in the world and will have a capacity of approximately 70,000 people for the tribute,” Jermaine said.

Jermaine also blamed “bizarre” media reporting in Austria, allegedly calling the expected guests “B-list artists.” “When artists who have won 8 Grammy Awards and sold millions of records around the world and are able to sell out large stadiums and then called “B-list artists,” are made fun of and generally disrespected, is something I just cannot understand. If these artists are not welcome in Vienna, London is more than happy to have them.”

The organizers also said the city of Vienna lost a “massive” amount of promotional value because of the cancellation. Ticket sales for the tribute in London will begin soon after a final date has been set, but no later than December 1st. Prices will start at 44 pound (73.49 dollar).

The organizers added to say that any tickets which have been purchased for the Vienna tribute will be refunded immediately. “Every person who purchased a ticket via the internet or in a call center will receive an email today and will be provided with information on how it will be refunded,” a statement read. “Tickets purchased at ticket-outlets can return their tickets at the same location starting on Monday, September 21, and their money will be refunded immediately.”

Jermaine Jackson also released the following letter:

“Dear fans, ladies and gentlemen,

The past few months have been a very difficult time for the Jackson family. The sudden, unexpected death of my brother Michael was not only a terrible shock for his closest relatives, but for his millions of fans around the world. I, and everyone in Michael’s family, will be forever grateful for the support and love that we have received from so many people during these past two-and-a-half months.

After the Memorial Service at the Staples Center in Los Angeles it was clear to me that many fans did not get the opportunity to properly say goodbye to the artist and wonderful human being, Michael Jackson. More than two million people wanted to be part of the ceremonies in Los Angeles to say goodbye and celebrate the life of Michael Jackson, but only approximately 20,000 had the opportunity to do so at the Staples Center. For this reason I knew I had to organize a tribute concert in honor of my brother in order to bring his unforgettable music to life once again and to show the world what a wonderful human being it has lost.

A little more than five weeks ago I began, together with my partners in Vienna, to work on the Tribute Concert. As you can imagine staging a show of this monumental dimension in less than eight weeks is a daunting challenge. We have worked virtually around the clock to produce this show for the millions of fans around the world. Despite all the obstacles we succeeded in organizing the entire production of a concert in front of beautiful Schoenbrunn Palace in Vienna to insure that a show of international magnitude could be held.

I personally have spoken to many international artists and invited them to attend THE TRIBUTE and perform one of Michael’s songs. Several leading artists immediately agreed to participate in this unique tribute show. Many others told me personally that it would be a great honor 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 time frame involved it just was not possible for many of them to change their schedule so that they could be on stage in Vienna on September 26th.

We have therefore decided, after careful consideration, to reschedule THE TRIBUTE concert for my brother to June 2010 and to stage this very special music event at Wembley Stadium in London. Here, over 70,000 fans will have the opportunity to experience the life and music of my beloved late brother. We will hold the concert in the city that he himself chose for his comeback concerts but, due to his tragic death, he was not able to do.

Instead of eight weeks we now have eight months to prepare and some of the stars who would not have been able to participate in the Vienna concert, but expressed their wish to participate in this event, will be able to perform live on stage at the renowned Wembley Stadium in London in June 2010.

It would make me very happy so see as many of you as possible at THE TRIBUTE In Memory of Michael Jackson in London. It will be a memorable evening for millions of fans and a worthy and dignified celebration of the greatest entertainer who ever lived – my brother, Michael Jackson.

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Sincerely yours

Jermaine Jackson”

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