Update! Jacko tribute looks to be headed to Prospect Park

for The Brooklyn Paper
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City officials are poised to tell hordes of Michael Jackson fans to beat it from Fort Greene Park.

The deceased superstar’s much-hyped posthumous birthday celebration — planned by Spike Lee — has grown bigger than the little Olmsted and Vaux jewelbox — and city officials spent most of today scrambling to relocate the memorial, most likely to Prospect Park.

“That’s where we’re looking,” said Parks Department spokesman Phil Abramson about the Aug. 29 memorial/p­arty/tribu­te/concert. “There were concerns about the size of the event.”

Abramson’s comment — just in time for The Brooklyn Paper’s thriller of an online deadline — came at the tail end of a day of confusion over the steadily growing event.

Earlier in the day, Councilwoman Letitia James (D–Fort Greene) told a New York Times blog, The Local, that Lee’s memorial kept getting bigger. (Perhaps you could blame it on the boogie, as Jackson himself once sang.)

“This was supposed to be a small-scale community event,” said James. “Now they’re concerned about crowd control.”

Word continues to spread over the Internet like a speed demon (that’s a Jackson song title, silly) of Lee’s homage to the pop icon. Lee directed in the video for the 1996 single, “They Don’t Care About Us.”

It is unclear how many people are expected at the event, as Lee’s 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks has not answered The Brooklyn Paper’s numerous requests for comment.

But a full-out tribute to the one-time King of Pop could attract tens of thousands, given Jackson’s vast popularity.

Aug. 29 would have been Jacko’s 51st birthday. Jackson died on June 25 under mysterious circumstances.

Updated 5:14 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Rocky from South Brooklyn says:
Yes! Another mess like the MIH Ventures debacle, where a promoter got off without fines or worse because of the chicken-—— Parks Department.
Aug. 21, 2009, 7:14 pm
Roxanne from Bed-Stuy says:
It's not surprising that a "Michael Jackson" memorial has received such a strong response. I am also a Michael Jackson fan and plan on shortening my vacation ( right now in Florida) to attend.
Aug. 21, 2009, 7:59 pm
The Gloved One from Prospect Heights says:
I hope Spike Lee is putting down a hefty sanitation deposit with the Parks Dept. and the Prospect Park Alliance.
Aug. 21, 2009, 9:43 pm
Weird Al from Downtown says:
I know Michael was a great performer and all, but can someone explain to me why anyone who didn't know him personally would really want to go to a big memorial event, let alone cut short one's vacation to do so?
Aug. 21, 2009, 9:45 pm
Sean from Park Slope says:
Nah, Spike will fake out the Parks Department like little old MIH Ventures. Watch for the hanging diapers in the trees, beer kegs and vodka bottles on the lawn and acres of used grills and charcoal.
Aug. 21, 2009, 10:07 pm
MDH from soca says:
Haven't you learnED that his name is JACKSON and not Jacko? arent you aware that he disliked nicknaming very much? please show some respect and just STOP DOING IT
Aug. 22, 2009, 1:25 am
Zena from Bronx says:
Aug. 22, 2009, 4:49 am
Joe Nardiello from Carroll Gardens says:
Spike Lee is a Brooklyn-branded, recognized celeb due to his movies, prior living here -- but I'd like to see politicians attending welcome him back & mention he's a New Jersey resident, good-naturedly of course. Is this done for an outpouring of love/grief (-- or does someone have an angle, like to film it and sell that to HBO?) While a feel-good concert is fine -- and shouldn't be any problem for anyone. People will enjoy it, and that's the bottom line. (There was just a Prince-celebration at the bandshell in his absentia a few weeks back, at that.) Drawing people into Prospect Park is never a bad idea, as long as its sanctioned by Park officials, and didn't affect anyone's prior planned usage/plans. (Something many of us were threatened with a hastily backed idea for a 40th anniv. Woodstock bash -- in June, instead of August -- and without any signed acts. Good thing that faded, for the 3,000-4,000 children that would have had 2 weekends of baseball, etc. canceled.)
Aug. 22, 2009, 7:56 pm

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