Phenomenal talent but unrelenting freakshow Michael Jackson saw himself back in the news this week when he cancelled a Xmas party that was to be held in Japan. ZAKZAK takes a closer look at what happened:
The truth behind the sudden cancelleation of Michael’s Xmas party
Confusion over hiring Dave Specter as host
Fans of American singer Michael Jackson (age 48) were peeved at the sudden cancellation of the planned “Premium Christmas Party” to be held at Studio Coast event hall in Shinkiba, Tokyo on December 19. A spokesperson for Michael explained that the reason behind the postponement was “to engage with as many fans as possible” and rescheduled the event for March 8-9 of next year. The postponement is enshrouded in mystery, and claims have been made of Michael’s poor health and poor sales of the most expensive Platinum Tickets, priced at 400,000 yen apiece.
According to sources close to the issue, the party originally planned for 200 Platinum Tickets (priced at 400,000 yen each that would have included a photo and handshake with Michael), and 1400 Golden Tickets (just a handshake for 200,000 yen). Jackson himself was not scheduled to perform, but spokespeople explained that “Michael was to watch a show, consisting of gospel and band performances, along with his guests from a VIP area on the 2nd floor.”
Planners began additionally selling 50,000 yen tickets from December 5. Event planners repeated boastful explanations that “Sales of Platinum and Golden Tickets have only amounted to a few buyers, but we have filled the hall.”
At the “do-over” party to be held in March, a “Premium VIP Party” will be held on March 8 with tickets selling for 400,000 yen apiece, and on March 9 ticket prices will be lowered to 15,000 yen for a fan appreciation event.
Michael fan sites have recently expressed mixed opinions, from hopeful (“No matter how expensive it is, there is a corresponding value to Michael in the flesh”) to opposed (“This is a simple ploy to make money and will tarnish Michael’s image”).
The confusion continues, with episodes such as when television producer Dave Specter, approached by event planners to host the March party, declined the offer after protests from Jackson fans.
Dave commented, “Since I have before now made many (critical) statements about Michael as a journalist (tr: He hosted the Japanese version of that interview from a few years ago when Michael insisted that sleeping in the same bed with young boys is all right), I had no choice (but to decline the hosting gig). There are many excitable fans who worship Michael as if he were a god.” He also noted that for the March party “He will probably come on the scheduled date and time since there is a proper contract. The tickets are certainly expensive, but I have heard that inquiries from abroad have been impressive.”
There have been reports that Michael’s health is in bad condition, such as when US tabloid Globe has reported: “He is addicted to painkillers and wine.” However, it looks like Michael will continue to make his fans inpatient right up until the March party.
Comment:It looks like Michael sees Japan as the only place where he can make profitable public appearances these days. What I don’t get is why won’t he perform? If he wants to make money that seems like the most logical way to do it.