Today’s recap includes ticket sale reports, concert and tour updates, festival news and more, as compiled by TicketNews on March 13, 2009.

The King of Pop is back with a bang. During the first four hours of today’s public on-sales, all 50 shows of Michael Jackson‘s concert series at The O2 Arena in London, England, sold out as fans scrambled to buy the approximately 750,000 remaining tickets. More than 1 million ducats have been sold in all, including about 360,000 from the presales earlier this week.

Reggae-rock crew 311 has unveiled plans for the annual Summer Unity Tour, which will hit amphitheaters across the nation starting in June. Ziggy Marley and an unnamed special guest will also be along for the ride. … Pop-punk groups Alkaline Trio and Saves the Day are teaming up for a brief round of concerts together this April.

Original producer George Wein is back on board with the Newport Folk and Jazz Festivals, and is currently negotiating a license to bring both back to Rhode Island this year, despite the financial difficulties faced by last year’s producer Festival Network LLC. … The 15th annual Essence Music Festival has added Lionel Richie and more as performers to the lineup for this year’s event, to be held in New Orleans, LA, from July 3-5.

Those are the complete reports for this Friday. Before calling it a week, read on for more concert and tour updates in brief:

Third Eye Blind will tour this spring to support two upcoming 2009 album releases. The 30-city outing begins March 18 at the House of Blues in New Orleans, LA, and is booked through June 18 at Plaza de Cesar Chavez in San Jose, CA. Highlights for the tour, which is currently based mainly on the East Coast, include a March 21 set at Stubb’s in Austin, TX, an April 22 gig at Electric Factory in Philadelphia, PA, a May 2 performance at Meadowlands in East Rutherford, NJ, a May 15 concert at the House of Blues in Atlantic City, NJ, and a June 2 event on Lansdowne Street in Boston, MA.

The English Beat have extended their tour plans for the U.S. this spring with 15 recently announced dates. The tour, which continues tonight (March 13) at Brixton in Redondo Beach, CA, now stretches through early summer. Some of the new concerts include: April 1 at the Knitting Factory in Spokane, WA; Aril 11 at Midland Theatre in Kansas City, MO; April 14 at the House of Blues in Chicago, IL; May 14-15 at Maxwell’s in Hoboken, NY; May 17-18 at Rams Head On Stage in Annapolis, MD; and the last currently scheduled date of June 20 at Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, CA.

Lucero will follow up an April touring schedule for the East Coast with a block of May performances covering the rest of the nation. The April run is set at 15 shows, beginning April 9 at Off Broadway Nightclub in St. Louis, MO, and ending April 25 at Headliners Music Hall in Louisville, KY. The May jaunt is penciled in at 22 dates, and picks up May 6 at Spanish Moon in Baton Rouge, LA. After heading through the southern states and up the West Coast into Canada, the outing turns back through the Midwest, ending June 3 at Varsity Theater in Minneapolis, MN, followed by a June 6 appearance at Wakarusa Festival in Ozark, AR.

Ponytail, up-and-coming art-rockers, have lined up a 19-date trek for April and May, which begins April 23 at DC9 in Washington, DC, and closes May 23 at 529 in Atlanta, GA. Along the way, the band will stop for an April 25 gig at Music Hall of Williamsburg, an April 28 show at La Sala Rossa in Montreal, QC, a May 3 session at Schubas Tavern in Chicago, IL, a May 12 gig at Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco, CA, and a May 20 performance at Emo’s in Austin, TX. Ponytail’s next gig is a March 21 appearance at Club de Ville in Austin, TX, as part of the SXSW Music Festival.


Last Updated on March 16, 2009