Wednesday, March 11, 2009 | 12:07 p.m.
On-and-off Las Vegas resident Michael Jackson’s London concert dates have now been inked in permanently for this morning’s lucky, presale password holders.
The debut 02 Arena show in the British capital will be July 8, with following concerts July 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 22 and 24; the final concert is July 26. Las Vegas-raised singer-songwriter Ne-Yo, who reportedly collaborated with Michael here on at least one of the new tracks that Michael has been working on for the past year, will perform July 11.
Michael’s marketing ploy for 10 final concerts obviously worked because demand has been so great, Ticketmaster’s online service nearly crashed. Now the singer has decided to spend his 51st birthday in London and add three more This Is It Tour shows. Overnight, Michael has added Aug. 26, 28 and 30 to the British run. He will celebrate his birthday on Aug. 29, coincidentally the same date as me!
I was told that some ticket buyers waited nearly an hour to purchase tickets in the presale and that Ticketmaster experienced technical difficulties and was unable to fill some ticket requests because of the unprecedented demand. And these were only the registered, password-access, presale tickets! General admission tickets go on sale Friday.
I’ll be there for Michael’s opening night July 8; my ticket this morning on my AmEx cost me $1,217.25 -- without hotel and airfare! However, I did purchase the champagne package, so I will balance the bubbly in one hand during his show -- and use my iPhone in the other to send back our live reports! Michael looks set to return to multi-millionaire status! Vegas DeLuxe will have the full report direct from London as it’s all happening.
Now it’s obvious that a run of appearances here in Las Vegas this fall will be discussed. If he can sell out 13 shows in the 02 Arena, then AEG/Concerts West, who controls that venue, will encourage him to book This Is It concerts in the U.S.
AEG has the booking rights at The Colosseum in Caesars Palace and the new Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel. At Caesars, Michael would easily sell out the 4,000-plus available seats, and there are open dates after Sir Elton John’s departure and the return next year of Celine Dion on a new rotating basis.
I’m only speculating, but maybe it’s not too far from the master plan?