Jackson concert organizers reach out to unhappy fans

LOS ANGELES,  (Reuters) – The organizers of a  controversial Michael Jackson Tribute concert said on Tuesday  they were going ahead with the event, but they offered  disgruntled fans the chance to air their concerns in a global  conference call.

Michael Jackson

“We are 100 percent going ahead. We will continue to  announce names for the line-up. We are moving forward and now  we will try to address issues that have been raised by fans,”  Juliette Harris, a spokeswoman for Global Events Live told  Reuters.

Harris said members of verified Jackson fan clubs will be  invited to take part in a conference call on Tuesday, Aug. 30,  in which promoters of the Oct. 8 tribute in Wales will try to  allay their concerns.

Some 35 Jackson fans clubs have called for the tribute  concert to the “Thriller” singer to be called off, saying it is  “doomed to fail.” They are unhappy with confusion over  charitable donations from ticket revenue, the timing of the  concert during the involuntary manslaughter trial in Los  Angeles of Jackson’s  doctor, and the invitation (now  withdrawn) to rock band Kiss.

Kiss frontman Gene Simmons has in the past called Jackson a  child molester. The pop singer, who died in Los Angeles in June  2009 at age 50, was acquitted of all charges in a 2005 child  sex abuse trial.

Attorneys for Jackson’s estate have also expressed concerns  about the tribute, which is supported by the singer’s mother  Katherine and several of her children, but not by Jackson  brothers Jermaine and Randy Jackson.

Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green and Smokey Robinson, as  well as several British acts will perform Jackson songs along  with their own material at the tribute. Beyonce will also beam  in a cover version of one Jackson hit by satellite.

Harris said many more performers would be announced  shortly. She said she had not seen the open letter from the  fan clubs but organizers want to respond in next week’s  conference call to some of the issues that have surfaced.

Tickets for the show at the 75,000-seat Millennium Stadium  in Cardiff, Wales, range from 55 pounds to 240 pounds (about  $90-$390).

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