Jacko Caught In Ticket War

Among all the stories telling how many dancers he’ll have at his London O2 shows and other pieces saying it’s doubtful he’ll manage to finish the 50-date run, Michael Jackson appears to have become the subject of sniping between ticket companies.

Fans who bought concert tickets on unofficial resale sites are “unlikely” to get their money back following the postponement of the opening shows of the pop star’s tour, according to the U.K.’s Guardian.

The article saying fans will “either be offered tickets for alternative dates or a full refund if they bought tickets through official agents Ticketmaster.co.uk or viagogo.co.uk,” was distributed by the latter’s PR company as a plug for its client. But Freud Communications was less happy with questions about AEG Live chief Randy Phillips having to serve an injunction to stop viagogo from reselling to other secondary outlets.

It seems the unnamed secondary sites targeted in the Guardian piece couldn’t have actually gotten their tickets from viagogo.

“AEG got an injunction to stop viagogo reselling to other sites before they even started,” said Celena Aponte from The Outside Organisation, which handles AEG Live’s PR in the U.K. “AEG had also sent ‘cease and desist’ letters,” she explained.

In the U.K. it came out that viagogo’s deal to be the official resale site for Jacko’s extended O2 run went as far as allowing the company to sell 7 percent of the legendary pop act’s tickets at inflated prices.

It’s believed that 80 percent of the markup on these tickets would go to Jackson via show promoter AEG, with the remaining 20 percent going to viagogo.

The hitch came when viagogo appeared to be contravening the deal by trying to sell the tickets to other secondary sites.

As for Jackson being mentally and physically fit enough to do 50-plus shows, Phillips has no doubts about it.

He told U.K. papers that Jackson’s in better shape than he is.