Page last updated at 17:44 GMT, Friday, 13 March 2009

Michael Jackson tickets sell out


Fans on a 'cold night' queuing for tickets

Tickets for Michael Jackson's 50-date residency at the O2 arena in London have completely sold out, organisers have confirmed.

Hundreds of fans queued at the venue as tickets went on sale to the public and over a quarter of a million people queued online.

Around 750,000 fans have bought tickets to see the veteran pop star.

Tickets sold at a rate of around 11 per second, promoters said - when they went on sale to the public on Friday.

Some 360,000 tickets were sold to registered fans before sales opened on Friday morning.

Organisers say the This Is It tour has become the fastest-selling in history, with people from as far away as Japan, Belgium and Dubai queuing up to purchase their tickets.

Jackson is said to be "thrilled" by the response.

Michael Jackson
Tickets for Jackson's gigs are already being sold on eBay

Randy Phillips of promoters AEG Live told BBC Radio 1's Newsbeat a pre-registration scheme had been so successful he asked Jackson himself if he would do more dates.

"That wasn't anticipated," he said.

"We never thought '50 shows' and frankly based on the queues on Ticketmaster, plus the 300,000 registrants we still haven't issued codes to, we could spend two years here.

"Mike asked me how long he would be in the United Kingdom for and I told him, probably long enough to get a British passport.

"Michael's already pretty much put together a list of the dancers he wants. Michael's very engaged now."

Ticketmaster's director, Chris Edmonds, said: "We often talk about unprecedented demand, but this week we have witnessed a live entertainment phenomenon.

"This was undoubtedly the busiest demand for tickets for an event which we have ever experienced."

Pre-sale tickets for Jackson's first 10 dates sold out on Tuesday but some fans complained of "technical problems" trying to register online.

Online auction

Tickets for the Jackson shows are already being sold on the online auction website eBay.

Prices on the site range from £170 to £10,000, but tickets bought directly from the singer's website or Ticketmaster cost up to £75.

Jackson, who has won 13 Grammy awards, has said this will be the last time he will perform in the UK.

In August and September 2007, Prince played 21 concerts at the O2 arena together with a number of after-shows at its club venue, Indigo.

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