Michael Jackson Gig Run At 50, Touts Cut Deal
Five new shows have been added to Michael Jackson’s London run, bringing the total to 50, according to Randy Phillips, CEO of AEG Live, promoter of the shows.
“We stopped it at 45 in the pre-sale to save shows for the public on sale, which is tomorrow,” Phillips says. Jackson could do 100 shows at the O2 if he wanted, Phillips says, but he has other goals, including film and recording. “He can’t live his life in London, he has a lot of things on his agenda.”
Phillips says allotments from each night of the first 45 shows also will be available to the general public, meaning those who did not pre-register for tickets. More than 90% of the tickets have been purchased from the U.K., but “the rest is France, Germany, Poland, everywhere in the world. People bought tickets from Botswana,” Phillips says.
The intensity of demand has been a “shot of adrenaline” for Jackson, Phillips says. “He feels great. He feels reborn,” Phillips adds. “He’s been gone for 12 years, so there was trepidation there.”
Secondary market issues
Meanwhile, AEG Live cut a deal with European secondary market ticket seller Viagogo that has led to some issues. “We met and got pitched by Viagogo, (and other secondary sellers) Seat Wave and GetMeIn. We thought Viagogo had the best pitch so we decided to make them our authorized secondary on Michael,” said Phillips.
According to Phillips, AEG cut a deal with Viagogo “to give fans access to premium seats and the market would set the price on only a small percentage of the house every night; and, secondly, to give fans a peer-to-peer platform where they know these tickets aren’t counterfeited.”
“Having said that, Viagogo did something really bad yesterday we had no idea they were doing,” Phillips continues. “They sent out e-mails to brokers and touts all over London offering them packages and seats and discounts. We’re going into court tomorrow to get an injunction. All we want from them is their platform, their Web site, for fans to buy tickets.”
Phillips said AEG lawyers in London will to go to court tomorrow (March 13) to get an injunction against Viagogo actually selling tickets. “They’ve told us they won’t, but I want to make sure it’s in the public record.” he said. “Even if we don’t get the injunction, that’s not the point, I want them to be under notice publicly not to do that. It’s about them living up to their word and the deal we cut.”