First the memorial, soon the movie. And in late September, the tribute concert.
Make that extravaganza. In Vienna, on the grounds of the 17th-century Schoenbrunn Palace, once the home of Austria-Hungary’s last emperor, Franz Josef.
Over 85,000 are expeced to gather for the three-hour concert that will be televised worldwide, the event promoter announced on Tuesday.
A tribute concert originally was contemplated at London’s O2 Arena, but according to AEG’s VP of communications, Michael Roth, those plans never got off the ground.
"There was an attempt to coordinate those, but it was never scheduled," Roth told TheWrap.
Vienna was chosen because it was preferred by Jermaine Jackson, who told Larry King on Friday that his brother loved the city and "loved castles."
Negotiations with networks over rights to broadcast the Vienna show are ongoing, Georg Kindel of World Awards Media GmbH told the Associated Press. Jackson’s brother Jermaine has been tasked with creating the star-studded lineup with 10 "of the biggest artists of our time," he said.
Austrian media has reported that Madonna, U2, Lionel Richie and Whitney Houston could be among the artists performing. However, an individual close to the estate said that while the London show would have been a superstar concert, Vienna will be more a family affair, featuring relatives and stars talking about their memories of Jackson as images and video clips of the singer are played.
TheWrap learned last month that negotiations for the London concert had stalled because executives at AEG were considering a pay-per-view option and Sony — which is planning a movie from the Jackson rehearsal footage — was worried that asking fans to pay to watch a tribute concert might erode the audience for the film.
In the end, however, the Sony deal allowed the concert with certain restrictions relating to how the concert could be exploited on TV and DVD and limitations on use of film footage of Jackson rehearsing for the concerts, an individual close to the negotiations told TheWrap. The individual said the same restrictions would apply to the Vienna concert.
AEG, which was producing the London concert, is not involved in the Vienna show.
Tickets go on sale Aug. 20, and World Awards Media said that a substantial portion of the proceeds will be donated to charity.