MJ Tribute Organizer Bankrupt

Remember the star-studded tribute to Michael Jackson an Austrian company and Jermaine Jackson were planning on presenting in London in June 2010? Turns out there won’t be any stars nor will there be a tribute. And by the time you finish reading this there may not even be a company.

Photo: AP Photo
Harlem’s Apollo Theatre

What was originally named World Tribute Productions GmbH, is now officially called World Awards Media GmbH in Liquidation. According to a statement released by the company, the decision to dissolve the business was made in November. While not fingering any particular reason for the BK, liquidator Martin Schneider said the main sponsor was not financially able to support the company.

Georg Kindel, the company’s chief promoter, said he did not know if Jermaine Jackson would go ahead with the concert.

The Michael Jackson tribute concert, which was originally scheduled to take place in Vienna, Austria, at Schönbrunn Palace, has been troubled from the beginning.

On Sept. 8 Kindel and Jackson held a press conference in Vienna, announcing that the concert would take place at the end of that month and feature performances by Mary J. Blige, Chris Brown and Natalie Cole while hinting that Madonna, Whitney Houston and Stevie Wonder might appear. The two men also promised more artists would be added to the bill in the days leading up to the event.

Photo: AP Photo
Holding a statue given to him by Renate Brauner, Vice Mayor of Vienna, during a news conference in Vienna, Austria, today.

However, within 24 hours of the press conference, several performers mentioned as appearing indicated they knew nothing about the tribute. Kindel and Jackson quickly stepped into damage-control mode, saying many of the artists they had previously described as being on the bill had not yet committed to the date, while others had merely been “invited” to appear.

There were also reports that Jackson family matriarch Katherine questioned why the concert was being held in Vienna, while other Jackson Family insiders were reported as saying the show was all about Jermaine, not Michael.

Then on Sept. 11 Kindel and Jackson announced the show was being postponed until June 2010, and that it would take place in London instead of Vienna. As to reports of artists not being confirmed for the original date, Kindel and Jackson blamed media reports for their promotional woes.

Photo: AP Photo
At the second press conference in Vienna.

But even a delayed Michael Jackson tribute evidently wasn’t meant to be. The company issued a statement today saying it was dissolving. What’s more, Kindel commented in an Austrian Press Agency interview that he had split with his partner – Superfund founder Christian Baha – in October, and that he told Jermaine about the breakup one day later, saying they would not be able to organize the tribute.

Now the tribute ball is in Jermaine’s court.  That is, if the ball is still in play.