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Michael Jackson expands concert series at O2 Arena due to high demand
A week after Michael Jackson announced his return to the concert circuit, details are beginning to emerge about his upcoming residency at the O2 Arena in London, England.
Due to overwhelming demand for presale tickets, concert promoter AEG Live has made regular show additions to Jackson's schedule throughout the day. So far, 20 additional shows have been booked for the series, which is currently scheduled to run from July 8 through September 29.
The King of Pop was originally set for a 10-date run at the arena with the understanding that more performances could be added as demand dictates. Depending on demand during public onsales, Jackson's 30-show booking could shatter an O2 record held by Prince, who completed 21 sold-out shows at the venue in 2007.
Jackson's presale began earlier today, March 11, in the UK. According to a statement from AEG Live, presale allotments have already sold out for at least 19 shows. Public onsales for the residency begin March 13.
Earlier in the week it was reported that more than 350,000 fans had already registered to be eligible for the impending presale, while more recent reports put the number of estimated registrants closer to one million. The O2 Arena holds 20,000 seats, with the overall capacity closer to 23,000.
"We are making show business history here. The demand has exceeded our wildest expectations and without doubt will break box office records," said Randy Phillips, president and CEO of AEG Live. "This is the last chance to see Michael Jackson in London; we are doing everything we can at AEG Live to ensure as many fans as possible can be a part of the experience."
The overwhelming demand for Jackson tickets caused delays and error messages for some fans trying to access the presale.
"We have witnessed an unprecedented level of demand for the Michael Jackson concerts at the O2," explained Chris Edmonds, managing director of Ticketmaster UK, in a statement. "Unfortunately due to a technical issue, we were unable to facilitate all immediate ticket requests. Apologies to those fans who were unable to log on, but fans should keep on trying to purchase tickets."
The UK's largest secondary ticket market viagogo has been tapped by AEG Live as the official fan-to-fan exchange for Jackson's concert series at the O2. The company also recently partnered with Madonna as the official secondary ticket site for her summer 2009 Sticky & Sweet Tour extension. A request for a comment on the deal was not immediately returned by viagogo.
Michael Jackson schedule:
(Dates are subject to change.)
July 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 22, 24, 26, 28, 30
August 1, 3, 10, 12, 17, 19, 24, 26, 28, 30
September 1, 3, 6, 8, 10, 21, 23, 27, 29
* Performance dates, as of 1 p.m. (EST) on March 11