This Is It (concert residency)
This Is It was a planned concert residency by Michael Jackson scheduled to take place at the O2 Arena, in London, between 2009 and 2010. The concerts never took place, as Jackson died on June 25, 2009.
|Concert by Michael Jackson|
|Associated album||This Is It|
|Start date||July 13, 2009|
|End date||March 6, 2010|
|No. of shows||50 (cancelled)|
|Michael Jackson concert chronology|
Jackson announced This Is It at a press conference in the O2 Arena, and said it would be his final series of concerts in London. AEG Live, the concert promoters, released a promotional video that used an entire commercial break when aired on ITV, setting a record for that network. Initially, only 10 concerts were announced, but following public demand, 40 more concerts were added. Ticket sales broke several records and Jackson's album sales increased following the announcement; AEG Live estimated that the first 10 dates alone would have earned Jackson approximately £50 million.
In preparation for the concert series, Jackson had been collaborating with figures including fashion designer Christian Audigier, choreographer Kenny Ortega and bodybuilder Lou Ferrigno. Prior to Jackson's death in 2009, Allgood Entertainment sued Jackson for $40 million, claiming that he had breached an exclusivity agreement with them by agreeing to the This Is It concerts; the case was dismissed.
After Jackson's death, AEG Live offered either refunds to ticket holders or a special "souvenir" ticket designed by Jackson. The cancelled shows, record-breaking ticket sales and potential for a world tour led to This Is It being termed "the greatest concert[s] that never happened." Columbia Pictures acquired the footage of the rehearsals and released a concert film, Michael Jackson's This Is It, accompanied by a compilation album of the same name.
|Wikinews has related news: Michael Jackson to make last public concerts|
Jackson announced This Is It at a press conference at the London O2 Centre on March 5, 2009. The conference was attended by fans from several countries and 350 journalists. He told the crowd: "This is it. When I say this is it, it really means this is it. This will be the final curtain call." Immediately after the conference, a statement confirmed that Jackson would play 10 shows at the London O2 Arena, "performing in London for the last time". The statement promised "an explosive return with a band of the highest calibre, a state-of-the-art stage show and incredible surprise support acts".
Jackson had not toured since the 1997 HIStory tour. In 2005, he was acquitted of child sexual abuse charges, and kept out of the public eye in the years following. Reports circulated that he was facing financial problems; he had closed his Neverland Ranch residence and auctioned more than 2,000 possessions. The Independent reported that "for a man who has been absent for 10 years from the stage, after a messy court battle to shake off the paedophilia charges, a reputed cash crisis and the loss of his ranch, Michael Jackson looked surprisingly rehabilitated".
Hours before the press conference, promotional posters for the residency were displayed around London. Further promotion took up an entire commercial break period on ITV London during Dancing on Ice, the first time this has ever happened for a musical artist. The advert, which cost £1 million to air, was viewed by 11 million people.
The shows, Jackson's first significant concert events since the Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Celebration in 2001, had been cited as one of the year's most important musical events, and as the greatest comeback in the history of pop. Randy Phillips, president and chief executive of AEG Live, stated that the first 10 dates would earn Jackson approximately £50 million (about US$80.1 million). The Guardian characterized the concerts as an "astonishing comeback for a man who in recent years has been dogged by controversy", adding that Jackson still had "enormous commercial clout". The Evening Standard stated that the deal was the "showbiz coup of the decade" for AEG Live, while The Independent remarked that the finalized 50 concerts would provide London with a "much-needed" economic boost. Joe Cohen, chief executive of Seatwave, told BBC 6 Music that the shows would generate £1 billion for the economy.
Some websites offered early tickets, which the Association of Secondary Ticket Agents warned were fake. Jackson's website allowed fans to register early for a "pre-sale" draw. The website was not able to deal with the number of registrations—reportedly up to 16,000 applications a second. In the space of 24 hours, nearly a million people from around the world registered for pre-sale tickets, enough to fill the venue 50 times over. Tickets that had not even been printed were selling on auction website eBay for £300.
The two-day pre-sale began on March 11, and 40 extra dates were added to meet high demand; five dates were reserved in their entirety for the public sale. More than 1.5 million fans caused two sites offering pre-sale tickets to crash within minutes of going online. In the space of two hours, 190,000 tickets were sold. Two million people tried to buy pre-sale tickets in the space of 18 hours. Veronica Schmidt of The Times said that "Michael Jackson has floored his critics", while organizers proclaimed it a "cultural phenomenon".
Jackson was set to break the record for number of shows performed by an artist at a single venue, which had been set by Prince, who hosted a residency at the same arena for his 21 Nights in London: The Earth Tour concerts. According to Jackson's website, the following records were or would have been broken: "The biggest audience ever to see an artist in one city", "The greatest number of people to attend a series of arena shows", "The fastest ticket sales in history". Randy Phillips acknowledged that Jackson could have sold out even more dates, but this would have conflicted with other career plans. On March 13, the other 50% of seats for dates 1–45 and all the seats for dates 46–50 went on sale to the general public. Within four hours, all 50 dates had sold out. At this stage, the sales of King of Pop were up 400% and the sales of Thriller were up 200%. Tickets appeared on eBay for as much as £10,000.
Preparation and concert detailsEdit
The 50-concert run was originally scheduled to start on July 8, 2009 and conclude on February 24, 2010. Each of the shows would have been performed at the O2 Arena in London, which has a capacity of 23,000. New York designer Zaldy was head costumer. Jay Ruckel of La Crasia Gloves recreated Jackson's iconic single glove. The costumes were encrusted with 300,000 Swarovski crystals. In April 2009, thousands of dancers arrived to audition from the 13th to the 15th for Jackson, who helped select the 11 finalists. Kenny Ortega, who had collaborated with Jackson previously, was to work on the overall design and direction of concerts. Ortega said that the final product would have been a "theatrical musical experience". According to Randy Philips, £13 million was to be spent on producing the concerts, which would have included 18–22 songs and 22 different sets. There also would have been aerial dancing similar to routines by Cirque du Soleil. Carla Ferrigno told Reuters that her husband Lou had been helping Jackson train in advance of the shows. Jackson and Ferrigno had previously worked together.
On May 20, it was announced that the first concert would be pushed back five days to July 13 and three other July dates would be rescheduled for March 2010. AEG Live said that the delay was necessary because more time was needed for dress rehearsals. The revised schedule called for 27 shows between July 13 and September 29, 2009, followed by a three-month break, before resuming in the new year with 23 more shows between January 7 and March 6, 2010. Some fans petitioned for the reversal of AEG Live's decision. In late June, several hundred seats for each of the dates were put on sale. These seats were held back until production logistics were worked out.
It was suggested that after the London concerts, Jackson might head to Australia, Europe, India, China, Hong Kong and Japan before moving on to North America. Randy Phillips, the CEO of AEG Live, told the LA Times that Australia was part of Michael Jackson's international tour plans.
- "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" (contains excerpts of "Speechless")
- "Jam" (contains excerpts of "Another Part of Me")
- "Drill" (contains excerpts of "Bad", "Dangerous", and "Mind Is the Magic") / "They Don't Care About Us" (contains excerpts of "HIStory", "She Drives Me Wild", and "Why You Wanna Trip on Me")
- "Stranger in Moscow" or "Human Nature"
- "Smooth Criminal"
- "The Way You Make Me Feel" or "You Rock My World"
- J5 Medley: "I Want You Back" / "The Love You Save" / "I'll Be There"
- Off the Wall Medley: "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" / "Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)" / "Rock With You"
- "I Just Can't Stop Loving You" (duet with Judith Hill)
- "Dangerous" (contains excerpts of "Morphine", "2000 Watts", "This Place Hotel", the James Bond theme, "Stranger in Moscow", the Psycho theme, "Smooth Criminal", Janet Jackson's "You Want This", and "Let's Dance", and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly theme)
- "Dirty Diana"
- "Beat It"
- "Thriller" (contains excerpts of "Ghosts - Underscore" and "Threatened")
- "Earth Song"
- "We Are the World" / "Heal the World"
- "Black or White"
- "You Are Not Alone"
- "Billie Jean"
In June 2009, concert promoter Allgood Entertainment, represented by Ira Meyerowitz and Jon Kekielek of MJlawfirm, sued Jackson for $40 million. He claimed that Jackson, through his manager Frank DiLeo, had agreed to a single and a $30 million reunion concert with The Jackson 5 and his sister Janet Jackson. According to the concert promoter, the alleged contractual agreement prevented Jackson from performing elsewhere before the reunion concert and for a three-month period after it. Thus, agreeing to a 50 date residency at the O2 Arena was an alleged breach of the Allgood Entertainment contract. The filing company stated that AEG Live knew of the alleged agreement with Jackson and used their dominance in the industry to coerce Jackson into agreeing to the residency. In August 2010, the judge dismissed the case, stating that there was no evidence of a binding agreement, no contracts were signed. The case was in limbo as of 2013.
On June 25, 2009, eighteen days before the first scheduled This Is It performance, Jackson died after cardiac arrest caused by an overdose of Propofol and benzodiazepines. AEG Live, who persuaded Jackson to sign up for the shows, faced a liability of up to £300 million and an empty venue for the next nine months. The O2 Arena stated that full refunds, including all ticket service charges, would be available to those who purchased tickets through authorized agents, but that "fans will have the option to be sent the actual tickets they would have received to attend the shows in lieu of the full refunds which are being offered." Fans who bought their tickets from private sellers potentially faced problems. eBay recommended that purchasers contact their sellers for refunds and stated that those who used PayPal could get their money back if the purchase was made during the last 45 days. PayPal later announced that "all buyers on the site will receive a full refund for their ticket purchase".
Documentary and albumEdit
Following Jackson's death, AEG stated that they had over "100 hours of footage of preparations and rehearsals for the shows". On August 10, 2009, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff approved a deal between film distributor Columbia Pictures and AEG Live for the former company to purchase and distribute rehearsal footage of Jackson for a film entitled Michael Jackson's This Is It. According to court documents, Columbia paid $60 million (£35 million) for rights to the rehearsal footage. The papers filed in court had reportedly stated that Jackson's estate will get 90% of the profits and that AEG Live will get the remaining 10% from the film's revenue. The film was directed by Kenny Ortega who was also the director of the live concert. It was compiled mostly from footage that was shot as reference for production discussions and was never meant to be shown publicly. Some of the music and vocals in the film were added from previous recordings, though most were from the live performance. The film was released on October 28, 2009.
An accompanying album to the film was also released. Titled This Is It, the compilation was distributed internationally on October 26, and to North America the following day. The two-disc album features music "inspired from the documentary of the same name". Of the album, Sony said, "Disc one will feature the original album masters of some of Michael's biggest hits arranged in the same sequence as they appear in the film" and stated that "the disc ends with two versions of the 'never-released' 'This Is It' [...] This song is featured in the film's closing sequence and includes backing vocals by Michael's brothers, The Jacksons and Alvin Chea of Take 6." Sony added that the second disc will feature previously unreleased versions from Jackson's "catalogue of hits", along with a spoken word poem entitled "Planet Earth" and a 36-page commemorative booklet with "exclusive photos of Michael from his last rehearsal".
- Kreps, Daniel (March 12, 2009). "Michael Jackson's "This Is It!" Tour Balloons to 50-Show Run Stretching Into 2010". Rolling Stone. Retrieved March 24, 2009.
- BBC staff (March 13, 2009). "Michael Jackson announces comeback gigs". BBC. BBC News. Retrieved November 5, 2009.
- The Livedaily Staff (March 9, 2009). "Michael Jackson breaking records with 50-show run in London". LiveDaily. Archived from the original on February 9, 2010. Retrieved November 5, 2009.
- Australia, Yahoo (October 30, 2009). "Australia part of planned world tour". Yahoo! 7. Retrieved November 5, 2009.
- The MTV Staff (November 5, 2009). "This Is It Director Kenny Ortega On Michael Jackson's Final Rehearsals". MTV. Retrieved September 23, 2009.
- Staff, IGN (August 20, 2009). "Michael Jackson's "This Is It!" Tour Balloons to 50-Show Run Stretching Into 2010". IGN. Retrieved November 5, 2009.
- Staff, Sony (August 20, 2009). "Jackson's This Is It This Fall". Sony. Retrieved November 5, 2009.
- Akbar, Arifa (March 6, 2009). "Jacko on tour: 'This will be the final curtain call. I love you, I love you all' – News, Music". The Independent. London. Retrieved March 6, 2009.
- Khan, Urmee (March 6, 2009). "Michael Jackson announces comeback gigs". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved March 6, 2009.
- Griffin, Zoe (March 5, 2009). "Michael Jackson has 50 medical tests to prove he can manage 02 Arena dates". Daily Mirror. Retrieved March 5, 2009.
- Youngs, Ian (March 5, 2009). "'Final curtain call' for Jackson". BBC. Retrieved March 6, 2009.
- Barnett, Emma (March 6, 2009). "Michael Jackson takes entire three and a half minute ITV ad slot". www.mediaweek.co.uk. Retrieved March 6, 2009.
- "Michael Jackson live dates ad during Dancing On Ice seen by 11m fans". Daily Mirror. March 9, 2009. Retrieved March 9, 2009.
- Swash, Rosie (March 5, 2009). "Michael Jackson can't fail to sell out the O2 arena". The Guardian. London. Retrieved March 5, 2009.
- Simon Cable (November 5, 2009). "Michael Jackson chooses London's O2 arena for the 'greatest comeback in history'". Dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved February 21, 2009.
- "Michael Jackson announces O2 Arena London gigs — and retirement?". NME. March 5, 2009. Retrieved March 5, 2009.
- Foster, Patrick (March 6, 2009). "Michael Jackson grand finale curtain-raiser". The Times. London. Retrieved March 5, 2009.
- Day, Elizabeth (March 8, 2009). "Off the wall but still invincible". The Guardian. London. Retrieved March 8, 2009.
- Singh, Amar (March 13, 2009). "Detoxing Brand Jacko". Evening Standard. Retrieved March 24, 2009.
- "The Barometer: Michael Jackson; Angela Gheorghiu; Horne and Corden; Madonna in fancy dress". The Independent. London. March 20, 2009. Retrieved March 25, 2009.
- "Michael Jackson in 'billion pound' boost to economy". Metro. May 8, 2009. Retrieved June 12, 2009.
- * "Jacko's album sales are backo". The Sun. March 7, 2009. Archived from the original on March 10, 2009.
- "Michael Jackson London 02 Arena ticket warning issued". NME. March 5, 2009. Retrieved March 5, 2009.
- Moore, Matthew (March 6, 2009). "Michael Jackson O2 ticket website attracting 16,000 visits a second". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved March 6, 2009.
- "Michael Jackson adds 10 more dates to comeback tour". Daily Mirror. March 6, 2009. Retrieved March 6, 2009.
- "Michael Jackson Announces Dates". MTV. March 10, 2009. Retrieved March 29, 2009.
- "1.5m fans crash sites in rush for Jacko gig". Evening Standard. March 11, 2009. Retrieved March 30, 2009.
- Cable, Simon (March 13, 2009). "Fans' fury as touts sell Michael Jackson concert tickets for up to £16,000 a pair on black market". Daily Mail. London. Retrieved March 30, 2009.
- Miranda, David (March 12, 2009). "Michael Jackson doubles London shows after 2 million seek tickets". Herald Sun. Retrieved April 1, 2009.
- Schmidt, Veronica (March 11, 2009). "Michael Jackson sells out London concerts and adds more shows". The Times. Retrieved April 1, 2009.
- "Jackson to play 50 gigs at the O2". BBC. March 12, 2009. Retrieved April 1, 2009.
- Waddell, Ray (March 12, 2009). "Update: Michael Jackson Up To 50 London Shows". Billboard. Retrieved April 1, 2009.
- *"Jackson's Tears Of Joy As O2 Shows Sell Out". Sky News. March 13, 2009. Archived from the original on March 16, 2009.}
- "750,000 tickets for Jackson concerts sell in 4 hours". CNN. March 13, 2009. Retrieved April 1, 2009.
- Swash, Rosie (March 13, 2009). "Michael Jackson's 50 dates at London's O2 arena sell out". The Guardian. Retrieved April 1, 2009.
- "Jackson delays opening tour dates". BBC. May 20, 2009. Retrieved June 12, 2009.
- Paine, Andre (March 5, 2009). "Michael Jackson Says London Concerts To Be 'Final Curtain Call'". Billboard. Retrieved March 5, 2009.
- Sherman, William (June 14, 2009). "Michael Jackson, Hubble Telescope draw from New York manufacturing". New York Daily News. Retrieved June 20, 2009.
- "Extra Michael Jackson O2 Arena tickets made available". NME. June 23, 2009. Retrieved June 26, 2009.
- "Michael Jackson Rehearsals Move Forward". Billboard. May 12, 2009. Retrieved June 12, 2009.
- "Michael Jackson Gets Ready For Tour". Sky News. May 12, 2009. Retrieved June 12, 2009.
- "Michael Jackson enlists 'High School Musical' director for London O2 shows". NME. May 12, 2009. Retrieved June 12, 2009.
- "This Is It: Jacko Picks Comeback Gig Dancers". Sky News. May 19, 2009. Retrieved June 12, 2009.
- Dobuzinskis, Alex (June 19, 2009). "The Hulk trains Michael Jackson ahead of London concerts". Reuters. Archived from the original on June 21, 2009. Retrieved June 19, 2009.
- "Michael Jackson fans launch petition over O2 Arena postponement". NME. May 21, 2009. Retrieved June 12, 2009.
- "More Jackson tickets up for sale". BBC. June 23, 2009. Retrieved June 25, 2009.
- "Michael Jackson Planning Australian Tour Before His Death". Take 40. June 28, 2009. Archived from the original on May 4, 2014. Retrieved May 6, 2013.
- "Jackson sued over reunion concert". BBC. June 11, 2009. Retrieved June 12, 2009.
- Michaels, Sean (June 12, 2009). "Michael Jackson sued for O2 arena residency". The Guardian. London. Retrieved June 12, 2009.
- Michaels, Sean (June 12, 2009). "Michael Jackson comeback concerts in jeopardy?". The Guardian. London. Retrieved June 12, 2009.
- "Judge dismisses Jackson reunion claim". BBC News. August 20, 2010.
- "AllGood Entertainment, Inc. et al v. Jackson et al (nysd/347380) – The RECAP Archive". Archive.recapthelaw.org. Retrieved May 6, 2013.
- Yazmeen (May 24, 2011). "Interview with Patrick Allocco- President of AllGood Entertainment ~ LET'S CALL SPADE A SPADE". Muzikfactorytwo.blogspot.com. Retrieved May 6, 2013.
- Sherwin, Adam (June 26, 2009). "O2 arena counts cost as curtain closes on the greatest show of all". The Times. London. Retrieved June 26, 2009.
- "UCLA Statement — Michael Jackson". The O2 Arena. Retrieved July 1, 2009.
- "Refund issues over Jackson gigs". BBC News. June 26, 2009. Retrieved June 26, 2009.
- "eBay will refund Jackson tickets". BBC News. June 27, 2009. Retrieved June 27, 2009.
- "Judge OKs Jackson performance film deal". MSNBC.com. Associated Press. August 10, 2009. Retrieved October 2, 2009.
- "Michael Jackson film deal outlined in court papers". ChinaDaily.com. August 6, 2009. Retrieved October 2, 2009.
- Christopher Smith (August 11, 2009). "Sony Pictures to produce Michael Jackson film". LA Times.com. Retrieved September 21, 2009.
- "Michael jackson This Is It film deal agreed". Uncut.co.uk. August 8, 2009. Retrieved October 3, 2009.
- Rosie Swash (August 11, 2009). "Michael Jackson film gets October release date". Guardian.co.uk. London. Retrieved October 2, 2009.
- "This Is It Worldwide Release Dates". Sony Pictures.com. Archived from the original on September 22, 2009. Retrieved September 21, 2009.
- Chris Lee (September 23, 2009). "The Michael Jackson new-music onslaught begins [Updated]". TheLATimes.com. Retrieved September 24, 2009.
- Tim Parks (September 23, 2009). "New Jackson single, LP to be released". Digital Spy.com. Retrieved September 24, 2009.
- The Insider Staff (September 23, 2009). "Unreleased Michael Jackson Song to be Revealed". TheInsider.com. Retrieved September 23, 2009.