*Details of a Michael Jackson tribute concert were announced during a press conference today attended by several of his family members, while other siblings sent over a statement expressing their disapproval.
“Michael Forever: The Tribute Concert” is being staged Oct. 8 in Cardiff, Wales, at what an organizer called the largest indoor venue in Europe, the Millennium Centre. The space is to be configured to seat over 75,000.
Produced by Global Live Events, the concert has been backed by Michael’s mother Katherine, sister La Toya, and brothers Tito, Marlon and Jackie.
“I have been approached by many people with a variety of ventures such as this,” Katherine told reporters this morning at the Beverly Hills Hotel. “Global Live Events LLP is the first company to present me with a vision that will produce an authentic and memorable tribute that my son would love.”
Tito promised the concert would feature “all the artists [Michael] admired and respected so much,” though he didn’t name them. “Michael loved doing things on a large, major scale,” he said. “This is definitely one that he would approve.”
The family and promoters didn’t take questions, and no mention was made of three absent Jackson siblings: Janet, Rebbie, Jermaine and Randy.
But in a statement released shortly after the press conference ended, Jermaine and Randy Jackson disavowed the concert, saying that its timing, less than three weeks after the scheduled start of a criminal trial over Michael Jackson’s death, was “inappropriate.”
“While we wholeheartedly support the spirit of a tribute that honors our brother, we find it impossible to support an event that is due to take place during the criminal trial surrounding Michael’s death,” the siblings wrote Monday.
The brothers went on to say that they had expressed misgivings about the timing at a meeting in April, “when this event was presented to the majority of the family.”
“There will come a time and place for an amazing and deserving tribute to Michael,” Jermaine and Randy Jackson wrote in conclusion. “But we feel that the most important tribute we can give to our brother at this time is to seek justice in his name.”
Global Live Events said they will announce performers daily until Aug. 4, when tickets go on sale. Prices weren’t announced, but proceeds from the planned four-hour concert will raise awareness and funds for AIDS Project Los Angeles and two other charities to be announced later, along with confirmation of the line-up.
“We wanted to do something decent and worthy of Michael’s musical genius yet something fun and authentic that you would envision Michael attending with excitement and joy surrounded by talent that he respected and loved.” Said Chris Hunt, president of Global Live Events.
The press conference, held in a ballroom at the Beverly Hills Hotel, featured a brief video introduction that alluded to the name of the comeback concert series that Michael Jackson was planning at the time of his death in 2009. “This Is It” also became the title of the posthumous documentary feature that chronicled the singer’s preparations for the concert series. The movie went on to earn $261 million at the world-wide box office.
“Just when you thought that was it,” video screens in the ballroom read as the assembled Jackson family members waited to speak.