Michael Jackson London June 2002 - Day 3 June 14
Day 3 June 14
This morning I got to the hotel early. It was a big day today, the event in Exeter and I knew that I would finally get to see Michael.
Suddenly the gates opened and the car went out. There were not that many fans at the hotel as everyone had to be at Paddington train station at 12.30pm.
Like the other times, fans surrounded the car, and I ran with the crowd as far as I could. Somehow I ended up beside some French fans who knew that Michael was going to The Houses of Parliament in Westminster. They hailed a cab and I found myself in a taxi with 3 French fans heading to Westminster!! Once we got there, there were about 50 fans, all trying to get into the building. Of course we knew that we wouldn't get in, but that’s not the point.
We knew Michael was there, so we were there too. I lost the French fans; everyone was just trying to figure out how to find Michael. In the end, I just gave up. I was watching the time and decided to just get to Paddington train station.
At Paddington, I found Flea and Jenny. It was crazy, all the fans were there but we didn't have our tickets. We had the confirmation emails which said to collect the event tickets from an Exeter Football Representative, but no one knew where this person would be. Michael wasn't there and we had no idea where we were supposed to go. Eventually we found the Exeter Football people, who were just standing beside the train. The fans all tried to get the tickets at once; it was madness, no proper organisation, just 2 people trying to deal with 200 crazy fans. We knew Michael was on his way and we just wanted to get the tickets NOW, before he arrived.
Tickets in hand, we went to the platform. The Exeter football people and the train station staff tried to get the fans on the train but as Michael wasn't there, no one would get on the train. There was no organization, it was total bedlam. Then Michael turned up and all hell broke loose. He had to walk up the platform to the special carriage at the top of the train. 200 fans, paparazzi and god knows how many randoms who just happened to be at Paddington station, all on a train platform. There was a few Police and Michael’s security team, but it was totally out of control.
It was getting scary, I thought I would get pushed onto the tracks, so I just went onto the train and walked up inside, watching all the chaos out on the platform. I couldn't even see Michael, just the crowd of people around him. I just gave up and found a seat. I knew Jenny would find me eventually.
Once Michael got on the train, all the fans got on the train and found seats and at last we were off. It was a special train just for the event. It was really surreal, knowing that Michael was on the train. We had to stop at a few train stations due to the normal trains stopping. We could see people at the stations looking at our train and we wondered what they would say if we told them that Michael Jackson was in the carriage at the front.
It was nice just to chill for a few hours and relax after the madness at Paddington. Uri Geller walked through the train, collecting gifts for Michael. And of course many fans tried to get to the front carriage to see Michael.
As we got nearer to Exeter, the atmosphere changed on the train. No one knew where the stadium was but we knew a bus would bring us there. Once the train stopped we all ran out and up to the top of the train. Of course we only wanted to see Michael!! The Exeter football people tried to get us onto the bus, but of course we all went to Michael’s car. They had no clue how to manage us, 200 crazy Michael Jackson fans. As Michael’s car went out of the station, our automatic reaction was to run after it but we were in an unfamiliar town so we had to get on the bus. Many fans were not happy, but there was nothing we could do. We wanted to follow Michael but we were taken to the stadium.
At the stadium, we were brought to our seats. Again we were not happy. Our seats were in the regular stadium seats, while the stage was in the centre of the pitch. We wanted to be at the stage, but we were told by stadium staff we had to stay in our seats. Michael would not even know we were there, he would not even see us.
When we got to our seats, there was a local radio DJ playing music to get the crowd going. Other than our section, the whole stadium was just local people on a day out. The DJ wasn't even playing Michael music, just current chart music. We were fuming. We were stuck in a stadium, nowhere near the stage, Michael was somewhere in the town and there was nothing we could do. The DJ was doing some crowd participation stuff. Our section was the only one who didn't take part. Michael wasn't there, he wasn't playing Michael music so we couldn't be bothered joining in. We just wanted to see Michael. The DJ made fun of us as we sat there in stony silence!!
After the DJ we then had to sit through a random show of singers and dancers, all who had some connection to Uri Geller.
Finally they announced that Michael was here. We were told that we had to stay in our seats!! Really, I don’t think so. Of course as soon as we spotted the car, our section ran onto the pitch. The stadium staff didn't know what to do!! It was crazy. All of us on the pitch, Michael enjoying the normality of the chaos and the local townspeople wondering what the hell was going on. Once Michael got to the stage, we were rounded up and made go back to our seats.
This was the first time on this trip I could see him properly. Of course our section was now the loudest and craziest. We had to make sure he knew it was us, even though we were so far away from him.
At the end of the event, when it was time for him to leave, we again invaded the pitch. Again we surrounded the car as it left the stadium. We were not allowed to follow the car but were told to go back to our seats and we were then escorted to the bus. We had no choice we had to get on the bus as we did not want to be stranded in Exeter.
At the train station, we arrived just as Michael did. Of course we did not go straight to the train like we were told to, we went to Michael’s car!! I think by now our chaperones from Exeter football had had enough of us and just let us do our own thing. As soon as Michael got on the train, we got on the train.
On the way back we were exhausted. It was such an amazing feeling though, to be on a train surrounded by fans, and knowing that Michael was on the same train.
About halfway back to London, the train stopped at a station. We were not expecting to stop so everyone wondered what was going on. A rumour went round that Michael had got off. Many fans wanted to get off the train too, but as we didn't know where we were or how to get back to London, most fans stayed on the train.
Once the train arrived in Paddington, we found out that the rumour was true; Michael had got off the train. Even though we were all very tired, it had been a long day, we all still went back to Michael’s hotel. We didn't know if he was coming back to London that night but we didn't want to miss seeing him if he did.
Back at the hotel, we found out that he had gone to Blenheim Castle. Some fans had got off the train and had met up with fans that were driving back to London and they had followed him.
When we heard this we decided to leave. We were exhausted and needed sleep and we knew that Michael would probably not be back until very late.
That night I stayed with Jenny at her hotel. We didn't know what time we would get back to London, so I had told my sister I would stay with Jenny that night.