Concert organizers announced Wednesday that the start of Michael Jackson’s highly anticipated concert series in London this summer would be pushed back a few days, and in the case of some of the concerts, several months.
A delayed start for Jackson’s This Is It concert series is necessary “in order to meet the challenges presented by such a massive and technically complex show,” according to a message sent to ticket-holders by concert promoter AEG Live.
“We apologize to all disappointed Michael Jackson fans and remain extremely dedicated and focused on creating an exceptional live music experience,” said producer and director Kenny Ortega, who is collaborating with Jackson on the shows.
Concert promoters recently denied reports that Jackson is in ill health.
The quickly sold-out series, billed as a sort of performance farewell to London, initially featured just 10 shows. However, rampant demand pushed the series up to 50 performances.
The series was originally set to kick off on July 8 at the city’s O2 arena, which has a capacity of 20,000.
Now, the first show will take place July 13, with previous concerts slated for July 10, 12, and 14 moved to March 2010.
“Michael, who is directly involved with all aspects of the styling/choreography/band selection and rehearsals, is working around the clock to ensure this is the show to end all shows,” AEG said in its message.
The promoters released a video this week showing footage from the open dancers audition Jackson held in Los Angeles in April.
The 50-year-old Jackson, who has sold more than 750 million albums around the globe, hasn’t toured since 1997. His last album of new material was 2001’s Invincible.