Organisers respond to criticism of Quincy Jones changing ‘Michael Jackson albums show’ O2 billing

Many fans have been demanding refunds

The organisers of Quincy Jones‘ upcoming show at The O2 in London have responded to criticism of the alteration of the gig from its original billing associated with Michael Jackson.

Quincy Jones, 85, has achieved an unprecedented 79 Grammy Award nominations and won 27 Grammys, including a Grammy Legend Award in 1991. He’s worked with Aretha FranklinStevie WonderRay CharlesFrank SinatraMichael Jackson and Miles Davis, among others. He is also responsible for some of the most well-known film scores, including The Color PurpleThe Italian Job and In Cold Blood.

Earlier this year, the legendary producer announced that he’d be playing the classic Jackson albums ‘Off The Wall’, ‘Thriller’ and ‘Bad’ back to back at a show at The O2 in London on Sunday June 23. However, last month he shared a new flyer for the exclusive gig where the name of the show had been changed – billing it as Live In Concert For The Very First Time: Quincy Jones presents Soundtrack Of The ’90 – Iconic Songs And Defining Albums. While Jackson songs are still among those featured on the poster, it looks like the format of sticking to the three albums has been dropped, as well as any mention of the ‘Thriller’ star by name.

See the new and original posters below.

Quincy Jones announces huge Michael Jackson show

Since then, a number of ticket-holders have taken online to complain and call for a refund.

“How do I get a refund for my tickets to Quincy Jones at the O2?,” wrote one fan. “I booked tickets to see three MJ albums, not an 80’s medley some of which I’ve never heard of! Expensive to start with, to expect me to pay that much for a gig I wouldn’t have booked otherwise is ludicrous!”

However, the organisers have defended the change and argued that it still says true to the original billing, and only seeks to explore more of Jones’ repertoire.

“When the concert at The O2 was originally announced in February, the central core of the show was built around Quincy’s work on the Off The Wall, Thriller and Bad albums,” a spokesman told NME. “That has not changed. We have in fact broadened the show to include further key songs from outside of his work with Michael Jackson. This was to highlight the wider contribution Quincy Jones made to pop music in the 1980s. As a result, the artwork was modified to reflect this.”

They added: “The show’s content, which will be performed live for the very first time in this format, is in no way different to originally billed, as songs from those classic albums are at the heart of the concert.”

This comes after the controversy caused by the film Leaving Neverland. The documentary, which split opinion when part one aired in the UK earlier this year, focuses on testimony by Wade Robson, 36, and James Safechuck, 41, who both claim that Jackson sexually abused them when they were children. In the wake of the film being shown, Jackson’s songs were subsequently banned on numerous radio stations around the world. A new Michael Jackson musical meanwhile, is among the events in his honour continuing to go ahead.

Jackson denied any wrongdoing before his death in 2009, while his family and estate continue to fight against the allegations.