Fans vow to hold on to concert tickets

IRISH ticket-holders for the last ever Michael Jackson concerts are set to ignore the offer of a refund for the chance to keep a piece of music history memorabilia.

Thousands of Irish fans of the controversial star were expected to travel to England next month for the first date on the singer’s 50-date comeback at the O2 Arena in London on July 13.

More than 750,000 people bought tickets for the chance to see the star in the flesh when they went on sale in March, with the one ticket every 11 seconds sale-rate making the This Is It residency gigs the fastest-selling in music history.

However, despite the death of the pop star, those behind the Michael Jackson World Network and Official Michael Jackson Fan Club said fans of the self-styled King of Pop are likely to keep the final tickets as souvenirs of his long-lasting career.

Michael Jackson memorabilia has always had a high market value, with ticket stubs from his 1980s Bad tour selling on eBay for well in excess of €200 even before the death of the star on Thursday night.

Records, DVDs and one-off items including an original signed Fedora hat have since gone online for over €5,000.

However, while thousands of fans who had bought tickets for the scheduled comeback dates later this year are expected to keep the now-sought after souvenirs, those insisting on refunds were still in the dark last night over whether the main companies involved would be in a position to return the large sums of money involved.

Reacting to the news of the pop star’s death, a spokesperson for concert organiser AEG Live would only say that “at this time our thoughts are with Michael’s children, family and friends. We will announce ticketing details in due course.”

A Seatwave spokesperson stated that all customers who purchased tickets for Jackson’s O2 shows from it will get a full refund, with “full information” on how to do so published on www.seatwave.com.

However, Ticketmaster had yet to make an official decision on the matter yesterday evening.

“We have no official information at this stage. As soon as we have any information, we will immediately contact all customers who have booked tickets through Ticketmaster,” a representative explained.

Aer Lingus and Ryanair, who were expected to fly thousands of Irish music fans to London over the coming months for the comeback shows, said they are yet to receive a large number of cancellations on flights leading up to the scheduled gigs.

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