May 20, 2009 / 8:26 PM / 10 years ago

Jackson's first comeback concert delayed by 5 days

Michael Jackson gestures during a news conference at the O2 Arena in London March 5, 2009. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

CANNES, France (Reuters) - U.S. pop star Michael Jackson’s stage comeback has been delayed by five days, organizers said on Wednesday.

The so-called ‘king of pop’ announced earlier this year that he would perform 50 concerts at London’s O2 Arena after living as a virtual recluse since his acquittal in 2005 on child sex abuse charges.

Organizers said the delay was necessary in order for them to put on the show they wanted to.

“This show has grown in size and scope, thereby necessitating more lead time for manufacture of the set, programing the content for the massive video elements, and, most importantly, more time for full production and dress rehearsals,” said Randy Phillips, president of concert promoter AEG Live.

The opening concert will now be on July 13 instead of July 8, and three more shows scheduled for July have been moved to March, 2010.

AEG said ticket holders who could not make the rescheduled dates would be refunded in full.

(Reporting by Mike Collett-White; Editing by Jon Boyle)

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