The October 8, 2011 Michael Jackson tribute concert set for Cardiff, Wales, has once again found itself drawing the ire of fans of the late King of Pop.
The concert, entitled “Michael Forever,” first made headlines in July for its handling of the concert’s initial block of ticket sales. Under the initial sales policy, patrons were instructed to include a pledge for a charity donation with their ticket purchase application, and the order in which patrons would be allowed to purchase tickets would be determined based on the applications. Anticipating that the show would sell out quickly, concert organizers stated on the application that the higher the donation pledge, the greater likelihood that application would be selected to purchase tickets when they eventually went on sale.
However, ticket sales have been slower than anticipated, and now the concert organizers have begun implementing discounts for the sale of remaining tickets. According to Billboard.com, included in these discounts are “2-for-1” options, which will allow the purchase of two tickets to the event for the price of one. The previous need of a charitable donation in addition to paying the ticket price has also been eliminated.
How many tickets have been sold thus far has not been disclosed, but as of today, September 14, tickets were still available on the event’s official Web site, starting at $87 a piece.
This latest news has sparked outcry from Jackson fans, including the creation of a Facebook group entitled “Fans against Michael Forever Tribute,” which is seeking to get the concert canceled should Global Live Events, the concert’s promoters, not make good on alleged e-mailed promises to ticket buyers that the difference between the initial ticket sale prices and the recent discounts be refunded.
Adding to the ticket sale controversy are recent reports that >Beyonce, who was scheduled to perform via satellite, will now only be participating through a “special contribution on video.” Currently, the concert is expected to include live performances from Cee-Lo Green, Christina Aguilera, Leona Lewis, and Smokey Robinson among others. It was also confirmed today by MTV that Jamie Foxx will serve as the host of the concert.
“The forthcoming Michael Jackson Tribute Concert in Cardiff has many of the elements of all that is wrong with both the ticketing industries and the contrived entertainment enterprises,” said Graham Burns, Chairman of the UK Association of Secondary Ticket Agents, in an e-mail to TicketNews.com.
“The divisions are from the very organizers all the way down through the ranks of the fans. We believe that there are a good number of well meaning individuals involved with the enterprise but looking in from the outside we wonder whether or not they have been made aware of the full facts. There is a very noticeable lack of transparency,” he said.
As of now, the concert is still scheduled to go on as planned on October 8th. However, it still remains to be seen if Global Live Events will take any definitive steps to placate the angered fans or even go so far as to cancel the concert as some fans and Jackson family members are asking.