The pop star choosesBy Tim Ryan
Hawaii as the place to
greet the new millennium
in the United States
Michael Jackson has chosen Aloha Stadium as the United States location where he wants to perform New Year's Eve in a millennium extravaganza expected to include other groups, last from late afternoon to well-beyond midnight, and pay the "King of Pop" more money than any other artist working that night in the country.
Details of the show, including its official name, the other acts, types of festivities within the event and ticket prices will be announced within "days or weeks," said Marcel Avram, producer and promoter of the concert.
"Michael felt he should perform in Hawaii at the millennium because it's the last chance and place in the United States where an American can enjoy this once in a lifetime experience," Avram said in a telephone interview from Germany.
"Michael's desire was to close the millennium in the United States with a beautiful event and Hawaii is a place he very much enjoys."
Although Avram calls the concert "a plan," a contract between Jackson and the promoter's company, Mama Concerts, for the Aloha Stadium event New Year's Eve has been signed, he said.
Mama Concerts already had Jackson under contract to perform New Year's Eve in Sydney, Australia, before the agreement was reached for the Hawaii show, he said.
After the Sydney concert, Jackson will board a private jet bound for Honolulu. Jackson's Aloha Stadium stage will be in place by the time the performer arrives in Hawaii, which will be "early" Dec. 31, Avram said. Sydney is 20 hours ahead of Hawaii.
The Sydney and Honolulu concerts will be Jackson's only for-profit shows of the year, Avram said. He will perform in charity concerts in June in Munich, Germany, and Seoul.
The official announcement of the Hawaii concert will be made after several important details of the show have been completed, Avram said.
"There are a great many things to coordinate," he said. "This is not the usual concert like the last time Michael performed in Hawaii (in January 1997). A millennium show is a huge enterprise and until we have everything decided from the technical point of view and the other acts, we don't want to make any incomplete announcements."
Avram, 61, was the promoter for Jackson's two 1997 Hawaii performances, which both sold out.
Promoter Marek Lieberberg, Avram's former partner, last week signed a contract and made a deposit with Aloha Stadium on behalf of Avram for use of the venue New Year's Eve, said Lieberberg, who in February promoted the Celine Dion concert at the stadium.
Plans being considered for the concert include surrounding the stadium's exterior with several large tents, where special entertainment will be presented and some of Hawaii's premier chefs will serve food.
Though the top ticket may be the highest-priced ever for a concert in Hawaii, Avram said other ticket prices will fit regular budgets.
Avram this week announced the Sydney and Hawaii concerts in Germany's Focus magazine.