Michael Jackson Announces Dates for "This Is It!" Run at O2 Arena

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Michael Jackson has revealed the dates for his 10-night This Is It! run of concerts at London's O2 Arena. The King of Pop's first show is July 8th, and he'll perform every other night until July 18th (leaving a day's rest between every show), when he'll take a four-night break before his next date, July 22nd. After that, only three shows remain: July 24th, 26th and 28th.

The general public onsale is March 13th, and fans who entered the online lottery the day Jackson held his press conference will find out soon whether or not they'll have the opportunity to purchase tickets beforehand with a pre-sale password. For those in Europe — and super-fans willing to travel — the London shows are a huge deal. "This is it. I just want to say these will be my final show performances in London," Jackson said during a press conference last Thursday. "I'll be performing the songs my fans want to hear — this is it. This is really it. This is the final curtain call." Jackson has not yet announced plans to perform anywhere else.

Why the gap between shows? Rock Daily has several explanations (and theories). First, the O2 already had some shows lined up in July — including a July 11th Ne-Yo gig (a Ne-Yo appearance during one of MJ's shows wouldn't be out of the question, or vice-versa). A full-scale stage show is exhausting — just ask Janet Jackson, who nixed most of her Rock Witchu jaunt — so Michael's people may be factoring in recovery time for the now 50-year-old star. Maybe Jackson has a thing for even numbers (he's not performing on a single odd date). Perhaps promoters AEG Live are leaving some room in case Jackson decides to extend the run beyond a "This Is It!" 10 gigs.

Regarding the last possibility, if you're buying tickets for July 28th expecting to see Jackson's last London show, you might not actually being seeing Jackson's last London show — Billy Joel fans experienced this phenomenon when his supposed last concert at Shea Stadium became his second-to-last show at Shea (and the final concert wound up featuring Paul McCartney.) Jackson dates as they stand now:

Michael Jackson
July 8 - London, England @ O2 Arena
July 10 - London, England @ O2 Arena
July 12 - London, England @ O2 Arena
July 14 - London, England @ O2 Arena
July 16 - London, England @ O2 Arena
July 18 - London, England @ O2 Arena
July 22 - London, England @ O2 Arena
July 24 - London, England @ O2 Arena
July 26 - London, England @ O2 Arena
July 28 - London, England @ O2 Arena

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