In news that should continue to surprise nobody, even Michael Jackson's biggest fans believe Michael Forever: The Tribute Concert, the unauthorized extravaganza scheduled to take place October 8th at the U.K.'s Millennium Stadium, is shaping up to be an epic disaster. Thirty-five MJ fan clubs have banded together to protest the event, calling it "doomed to fail" in a letter sent to Global Live Events, the promoter organizing the show.
"From the timing of this tribute... to the ticketing prices, to the obscurity over what charities will be receiving the donation, to the no-guarantee policy of performers, the addition of Gene Simmons and dishonoring, thus tarnishing Michael Jackson's legacy was simply the last straw," reads the letter from what Reuters describes as the 80,000 members of the fan clubs. The last part is a reference to Kiss briefly joining the bill despite the fact that Gene Simmons has publicly called Jackson a "pedophile." Several times.
The L.A. Weekly has also taken a skeptical look at the terms and conditions for ticket sales posted on the event's official website, which include "Michael's mother Mrs Katherine Jackson has agreed to attend the Concert with as many of Michael's children as are available" and "The Promoter does not guarantee the final line-up and cannot be responsible for the non-appearance at the Concert of any contracted artiste. If 50% or more of the number of contracted artistes attend and perform the Concert will take place and no refunds will be offered." The charities that will benefit from ticket proceeds are listed as the Aids Project LA and the Prince's Trust.
Oddly enough, despite all this drama, Beyoncé has agreed to perform at the concert -- via video feed. Michael Forever's Facebook page is trumpeting that "a unique, never-before-seen performance by Beyonce of one of her favourite Jackson 5 songs" will be beamed into the show because B, a "lifelong Michael fan" can't attend due to "scheduling issues." But so far the one person who seems to be lobbying for a spot in the lineup with every fiber of his being -- Chris Brown -- has not yet joined the show.
Tickets go on sale tomorrow and prices range from $90 to $390 for a seat in the 75,000-capacity stadium.
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- Michael Jackson
- Gene Simmons