The King of Pop Jackson was due to kick off his much-awaited 50-show run at the 20,000-capacity O2 Arena on July 8. But the opening night of his This Is It tour has been pushed to July 13, while three other gigs, previously slated for July 10, 12 and 14, are not to be staged until March next year.
Concert promoters AEG and Jackson's choreographer Kenny Ortega had said more time was needed for rehearsals to ensure the shows would be fine-tuned and perfect. The delay has left many fans fuming who had already shelled on expensive plane tickets to jet into London and will have to replan to see their idol perform next year. Some have turned to the Internet to voice their anger through a petition.
"Many of us who had purchased tickets for the opening concerts and have already purchased flight tickets and hotels etc. have received an email informing us of our concerts being rescheduled not two or three weeks but a grand total of 10 months!" the Daily Express quoted the petition as saying.
"Many of us now are left unable to go or are feeling disappointed in having taken so much effort to get tickets for the opening performances to be put to the very end of the concert run. While we have no idea whose fault this is, whether it is the O2, AEG Live or Michael Jackson himself''s decision or fault. We the undersigned are asking for the management of the concert to please reconsider this decision," it was added.
Meanwhile, Jackson has denied claims that the delay was caused due to his health amid speculations he is suffering from skin cancer.