Page last updated at 16:01 GMT, Monday, 6 July 2009 17:01 UK

Jackson fans picked for memorial


"'I have to say goodbye to Michael" says one fan outside the Staples Center

A total of 8,750 Michael Jackson fans have been chosen to receive tickets to attend the star's memorial service in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

The fans, who were drawn at random, will each receive two tickets for ceremony at the Staples Center.

Some 11,000 passes were issued for the event, with the remaining 6,500 for a simulcast at the nearby Nokia Theatre.

More than 1.6m people applied for tickets, with the successful applicants notified by e-mail on Sunday.

My mum got the letter and told me and then I was proper shocked
Jade Wood, British ticket-winner

Deka Montanya from San Francisco won a ticket and said: "I'm in shock that it's happened. It's surreal."

Stanford University student Dave Gobaud said he did not believe the e-mail was genuine at first.

Jackson family spokesman Ken Sunshine said officials at AEG, the owner and operator of the Staples Center, had "scrubbed" the entries to eliminate duplicates and any suspected of being made by automated systems.

British fans 'left out'

Ticket holders will receive a unique code and instructions on how to pick up their tickets on Monday, where they will also receive a wristband that will be placed on their wrist at the time.

Sunshine said measures were being taken to prevent ticket-touting, adding that fans must have both the ticket and the wristband to enter the Staples Center on Tuesday and wristbands that have been ripped, taped or tampered with will be void.

Staples Centre
Officials are worried fans may flood the Staples Center on Tuesday

City officials are preparing for massive crowds and have urged people to stay at home and watch the memorial on TV amid estimates up to 700,000 people may flood the area in trying to reach the arena.

Streets around the Staples Centre are being closed off, and Los Angeles Assistant Police Chief Jim McDonnell warned ticketless fans they would be "standing in the hot sun on a city street with a lot of other people... but not within eyeshot of Staples."

Meanwhile, fans outside the US are angry about being left out of the memorial plans due to the short notice arrangements for the ceremony.

Finnish resident Majid Badaya said he had essentially received a "20 hour deadline" with his email confirmation.

"We have to be at the Dodger Stadium by Monday 6pm in order to receive the two actual tickets and bracelets," he told the BBC.

"I'm still confused sitting here wondering what to do."

Matt Blank from the Michael Jackson World Network fan club told the BBC that some UK fans had not found out about their tickets until four o'clock on Monday morning.

"If they are [chosen], they've then got 24 hours to get to America - and flights will be through the roof once they realise how popular flights to Los Angeles are - that's if they can get flights at all."

A British Airways spokesman said flights to Los Angeles were "very busy" but there were still seats available.

Print Sponsor

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2016 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific