More details are beginning to trickle out over the arrangements for Michael Jackson‘s official London tribute. Randy Phillips, the man directly responsible for booking and promoting Jackson’s ill-fated O2 residency recently spoke to BBC 6 Music and outlined his developing plans for an official tribute at the O2, which will take place on the late icon’s birthday, August 29th. Preliminary suggestions include presenting This Is It, the production, hopefully with the Jacksons and maybe Janet, and other artists.
Official announcements are expected to be made before the end of this week, however, as Phillips explained: “We have to make some hard decisions this week otherwise it will be too late to even contemplate doing anything on August 29.”
Presumably, the tribute will be tailored towards those who had originally purchased tickets for one of the 50 dates. For those without tickets, the tribute is probably going to mimic Jackson’s recent memorial, only with a more global approach: ”What we’re thinking about is one massive tribute that’s broadcast around the globe. We’ve opted to go to broadcast television, either cable/satellite, or traditional broadcast.”
This announcement continues the trend of global outpouring for Jackson, who died from a cardiac arrest on June 25th. The reaction has been universal. Tribute walls have been erected around the world and fans continue to boost the legend’s album sales. However, on the home front, the controversy surrounding Jackson rages on — fortunately, Los Angeles’ authorities have agreed to foot the bill for his tribute at the Staples Center, reportedly $1.4 million in cost. AEG, the company behind his “Is This It” tour,” is also thought to be contributing to these events.
Speaking of “Is This It,” Jackson was scheduled to start his tour on Monday. In his honor, hundreds of fans turned up at the O2 Arena to commemorate what many had hoped would be Jackson’s triumphant return to the stage. The world remains shocked.