AEG Live CEO Randy Phillips and a group of top AEG executives will discuss how the Michael Jackson "This Is It" saga played out behind the scenes for the Keynote Q&A at the Billboard Touring Conference on Nov. 5.
Phillips, along with Paul Gongaware, co-CEO, AEG Live/Concerts West, John Meglen, co-CEO Concerts West, and Lee Zeidman, senior VP/GM of the Staples Center, will detail how AEG turned what some labeled the biggest disaster in live music history into a record-breaking tribute to the King Of Pop's legacy.
AEG Live had 50 sellouts teed up at London's O2 Arena lined up at the time of Jackson's sudden death on June 25, putting a huge upfront investment in jeopardy and setting in motion the largest and most complicated refund effort in concert history. AEG then produced the July 7 Jackson memorial at L.A.'s Staples Center, and worked with the Jackson Estate and executors in negotiating a deal with Sony Pictures for rights to create the film "This Is It," which debuts tomorrow and is set to be the highest-grossing music film ever.
In a matter of weeks, AEG, working in conjunction with the Estate, also struck a global merchandising deal with Bravado, and produced an exhibition of Jackson memorabilia is set to open Oct. 27 at the O2, the day the movie premieres in London. The exhibition is expected to
then travel to New York and Los Angeles.
"Amid turmoil and a media frenzy, the team at AEG made quick and savvy decisions that not only will help them recoup their investment, but also honors Jackson's legacy and greatly benefits the Michael Jackson Estate," says Waddell, executive director, content and programming for Touring & Live Entertainment at Billboard, who will moderate the session. "This session will shed light on how they came to these decisions through marathon meetings in the days following Jackson's tragic death, and will be a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the most compelling music business story of 2009."
The 6th annual Billboard Touring Conference & Awards is set for Nov. 4-5 at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City.