Michael Jackson memorial tainted by touts
Michael Jackson fans have blasted touts who are selling tickets to the singer's star-studded memorial concert tomorrow (07.07.09) online, branding them ''the lowest of the low''.
Touts selling tickets to Michael Jackson's memorial have sparked an internet "war".
Passes to the star-studded tribute at Los Angeles' Staples Center tomorrow morning (07.07.09) were offered for sale on auction websites minutes after the lottery for free tickets was drawn last night (05.07.09).
Some people were selling as many as five tickets and boasting about the money they would make from them, prompting fans who missed out to "declare war" on touts.
One fan - who was among the two million people who failed to secure one of the 17,500 free tickets offered to the general public - said: "It's totally out of order and against the spirit of the whole event. I was gutted not to get a ticket.
"But it's worse knowing others did and all they care about is making a quick buck. The touts should be ashamed. You just don't get lower than trying to make money off a person's death."
Some tickets to the memorial event - which starts at 10am, two hours after the Jackson family's private funeral at Hollywood's Forest Lawn ceremony - were being sold for £5,000.
Auction site eBay has vowed to stop the sale of tickets to the event.
A spokesman said: "Any tickets for the memorial service will be taken down".
In a bid to prevent touts selling tickets outside the event, promoter AEG Live have announced plans to fit fans with special wristbands when they pick up their tickets.
Anyone with ripped or broken wristbands will not be allowed to enter the stadium.
Los Angeles police are bracing for an influx of up to one million fans from around the world and have warned anyone without a ticket to stay away from the Staples Center and watch the memorial on TV instead.
But fans seem unlikely to obey the police, with American Airlines announcing flights to Los Angeles have already sold out.
A spokesman added: "We're fully booked. You can't get a ticket on that route now for love nor money. People are flying to neighbouring cities and driving or taking connecting flights."
Justin Timberlake, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, Jennifer Hudson and Usher are among stars expected to perform at the tribute.
The ceremony will reportedly end with the Jackson family and their celebrity friends inviting the audience to hold hands and sing Michael's 1992 hit 'Heal The World'.
An insider said: "We want to celebrate Michael's life and make him proud and the best way to do that is to get artists who he loved and respected to perform his songs. The artists will cover all generations and will all be performers Michael loved.
"There will be one or two surprises. As Michael himself said before, it will be the greatest show on Earth."