Michael Jackson has pushed back the opening four nights of his residency at London's O2 arena, with show promoters and producers AEG Live citing the "sheer magnitude of the concerts" for the delay.

The first date of the "This Is It" shows on July 8 has been pushed back to July 13. The other dates have gone back to March 2010: July 10 will take place on March 1, July 12 on March 3 and July 14 on March 6.

"AEG Live and Kenny Ortega, Michael's directorial partner and creative collaborator have elected to move back a few of the opening shows in order to meet the challenges presented by such a massive and technically complex show," said a statement. "Organizers are determined that all Michael's legions of fans attending the opening nights get to experience the same high quality staging that is planned for all of the spectacular shows."

Randy Phillips, President and CEO, AEG Live added, "Kenny and Michael are, at the same time, both creative pioneers and perfectionists. This show has grown in size and scope, thereby, necessitating more lead time for manufacture of the set, programming the content for the massive video elements, and, most importantly, more time for full production and dress rehearsals in the world's busiest arena, the O2.

"As much as we agonised over this change in the original schedule, we are sure the fans will understand when they experience the level of entertainment Michael Jackson intends to deliver while also ensuring the safety of the musicians, cast and crew and the crisp execution of the production. It is AEG Live's sincere hope that those lucky enough to have purchased tickets will have enough time to change their personal schedules and travel plans if they are coming from outside of London. We do not want anyone to miss this once in a lifetime experience."

Full refunds are available to those who can't make the shows. Any ticket holder that has purchased tickets from secondary partner Viagogo will receive details of its policy directly from viagogo.

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