Thousands of Michael Jackson fans gathered at the O2 arena to remember the King Of Pop on the day that would have seen his first London concert.
The venue – where Jackson was due to play 50 concerts – was turned into a shrine on Monday evening to the star after he died unexpectedly on June 25th in Los Angeles.
Many fans traveled from around Europe to say one final farewell to the icon whose life was marked by a star-studded memorial service at The Staples Center in Los Angeles.
But unlike at Staples the mood was far from somber at the O2 where fans dressed-up like their idol while dancing and singing to his favorite hits.
Facebook groups and fan sites encouraged fans from all over Europe to bring candles and flowers and to meet at the arena to commemorate Jackson.
Fan Ellie Howlett said: “I had tickets to see the concert this week and had to come here to be with the other fans. It’s a way of getting closure but I cried when I signed the memorial wall, but overall the atmosphere has been happy. London has become the focal point for all of his European fans because of tye concerts here so it was important to be part of that.”
A minute’s silence at 6:30pm marked the time when the doors to the concert would have opened; fans also waited in line to sign the memorial wall while impromptu performances were given on stage as footage of Jackson was broadcast on huge screens.
Monday night would have been the first of 50 planned dates for his This Is It comeback tour before his untimely death.
Many fans want a tribute concert for the star on August 29 to take place at the O2 Arena which would mark his 51st birthday.