A day after its top-billed artists fell off the performers list, the organizers of a Michael Jackson tribute concert slated to take place on September 26 in Vienna announced that they were postponing the show until next year and moving it to London.
According to Reuters, Jackson’s brother Jermaine and event promoter Georg Kindel announced on Friday (September 11) that the show originally scheduled to take place later this month on the steps of the 17th-century Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna had been pushed back because too many of the top promised acts had scheduling conflicts.
Less than 24 hours after it was announced that Chris Brown and Mary J. Blige would be among the headliners of the show, spokespeople for both acts said neither had definitively committed to performing. On Thursday, Blige told MTV News that she was “really, really sorry” she could not participate in the show because she had a previous commitment. Brown’s spokespeople had notified MTV earlier that the 20-year-old singer had not confirmed his appearance either. TMZ reported on Friday that yet another headliner, Natalie Cole, would not be able to attend either, due to a previous engagement.
With just Akon and 1970s disco act Sister Sledge as the only true headliners, Kindel said “maybe we underestimated these [scheduling] issues,” in announcing the postponement of the show.
“The purpose for this show is to give something back to the fans … we have to do this right,” Jermaine Jackson added, hitting out at critics who complained that more big-name headliners such as Madonna had not signed on for the show. “It’s not about name-dropping.”
Kindel said that one of the reasons organizers decided to move the show from Vienna to London was in part because “renowned artists of the tribute were disrespectfully treated as B-list artists or even losers.” The show is now slated to take place at London’s Wembley Stadium in the first half of June 2010. Everyone who bought tickets for the Vienna show will receive refunds, and tickets for the rescheduled show will go on sale on December 1.