If you thought the July 7th memorial for Michael Jackson at the Staples Center in Los Angeles was grand, next month’s globally televised three-hour tribute to the King of Pop will be a thriller.
Set to take place at a 17th century palace in Vienna, Austria, in the second half of September, the event will far surpass the memorial in Los Angeles last month or the tribute at the BET Awards.
The venue was originally expected to take place in late August in London’s Wembley Stadium, according to the Houston Chronicle Web site.
Michael’s brother Jermaine Jackson was in Vienna two weeks ago to accept the “2009 Save the World Award” on Michael’s behalf. While there, he made no mention about the extravagant event, talking about how much of a humanitarian his brother was.
“Michael’s message has always been ‘heal the world’ but he alone could never have accomplished that so it is left up to every one of us to ensure that we do,” Jermaine said.
The event’s promoter, Georg Kindel of World Awards Media GmbH, said in an interview with the Associated Press that he is in talks with networks over broadcast rights.
Kindel said the history and majesty of the Vienna castle easily trump the contemporary Staples Center, where an estimated 20,000 people turned out to memorialize Michael.
“You can’t compare [the Staples Center] with a real historic palace which was built hundreds of years ago,” Kindel said, according to the AP.
“This is not Disneyland. There’s a zoo, there are parks … I think [Michael Jackson] would like the site. It’s a little bit like Neverland, but much bigger.”
While performers have not been announced it is speculated that megastars Madonna, Whitney Houston and Lionel Richie are among a short list of artists that will appear on stage.
The event, which is projected to be televised to 1 billion people worldwide, will showcase “some of the biggest artists of our time,” Kindel told the AP.
While the complete lineup will be announced soon, the Houston Chronicle web site is reporting that ticket sales go on sale August 15.