Tickets for Michael Jackson’s 50 "final curtain call" concerts in London sold out in four hours Friday.
The tickets went on sale at 7 a.m. Friday, with promoters allowing fans to start queuing at midday on Thursday. They were limited to four tickets per household at a cost of up to $105 for general admission. VIP tickets cost up to $1,100. Around 750,000 were old. Some tickets have already appeared online for resale, with one person seeking $35,000 for VIP tickets to the opening show on July 8. Jackson originally announced he would do 10 shows at London’s 20,000-capacity 02 Arena, but huge demand has seen a further 40 dates added. The king of pop’s run is now scheduled to finish next February. Watch Jackson fan nab first ticket » O2 owners, AEG Live, said due to the “incredible level of interest” — pre-sale tickets to 10 concerts offered on Thursday sold out within minutes — Jackson had agreed to add the extra dates. Watch Michael Jackson’s announcement » There were delays for those trying to buy tickets online Friday, with Ticketmaster’s Web site warning of 15-minute plus waiting times. Chris Edmonds, Ticketmaster’s managing director, said they “had witnessed an unprecedented level of demand” for the concerts. http://www.michaeljacksonlive.com/ Ayesha Obi was the first in line at the O2 to get a ticket and was in tears.
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“I was hoping to just get the opening night. Any good seats would’ve been fantastic but front row, I’m over the moon. I’m very happy. Very proud. Really pleased.” She had been at the venue since Wednesday night but said it was worth it. “I’ve always wanted to seem him perform live. I’m happy he’s given us that opportunity now. “He’s a legend despite all the the controversey in his past.” The publicity has already helped lift Jackson’s album sales in the UK. Gennaro Castaldo, spokesman for music retailer HMV, said Jackson was already reaping the benefits of hosting the show. “Sales of Michael’s albums are starting to show a discernible increase, albeit from a relatively low sales base at this early stage. However, if demand is picking up now, imagine what it will be like in July, when Michael actually kicks off his live performances.” Castaldo said sales of his “King Of Pop” album released in August had increased four-fold, while sales of “Thriller” had nearly doubled. Jackson, a child star with the Jackson Five who went on to enjoy stellar solo success with classic albums such as “Thriller” and “Bad,” has rarely been seen in public since he was acquitted on child molestation charges in the U.S. in 2005. Timeline gallery of the highs and lows of Jackson’s life » Rumors of financial difficulties and health problems — in 2008 he was photographed being pushed in a wheelchair — have swirled around the famously eccentric star in recent years. Last year he sold his iconic Neverland ranch and he has spent much of his time since his acquittal living in Bahrain. The auction house, Julien’s, is selling Jackson’s Neverland property including the gates, the singer’s famed white-jeweled glove and a stretched Rolls Royce. Watch what Jackson memorabilia is being sold »
Jackson hasn’t recorded a studio album since “Invincible” — his 10th solo record — in 2001. His last major series of concerts was a world tour to promote the “HiStory” album in 1996 and 1997. “Thriller,” released in 1982 and containing classic Jackson hits such as “Beat It,” “Billie Jean” and the title track, is the best-selling album of all time. Jackson is estimated to have sold more than 750 million albums in total.