Leeds nostalgia: Jackson concert planned for city

Michael Jackson at Roundhay Park, 1988.
Michael Jackson at Roundhay Park, 1988.
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Dateline: January 1988...

The ‘Prince of Pop’ (as the Yorkshire Evening Post dubbed him) Michael Jackson was heading to Leeds for what looked like being his only outdoor musical gig outside London.

The billionaire eccentric agreed to a stage concert in Roundhay Park in August. It was seen as another coup for Leisure Services Committee chair Coun Elizabeth Nash and her department. The arrangements were being worked out by Danny Betesh, boss of Altrincham-based J Kennedy Street Enterprises, who was responsible for organising a glittering array of music events that had put Leeds firmly on the world rock and pop map.

A Jackson concert in Roundhay Park was seen as a huge coup for the city and was expected to be an instant sell-out - the council was expected to limit the number of tickets sold to 80,000.

The cost of tickets for Jackson’s Wembley gig was around £17.50 and it was expected Leeds would charge a similar amount.

Jackson did play in August, following in the footsteps of The Rolling Stones (1982), Bruce Spingsteen (1985) and Genesis and Madonna in 1987.