Michael Jackson in London May 2000 Day One
Two weeks after returning home from Monaco, I found myself on a plane to London. This time I was on my own, none of the other YANA group members traveled with me.
I had been in contact with Flea and other fans I had met in Monaco. Through them I found out that tickets were still available for the event so before I came to London I managed to get a ticket. They had been there when Michael left but no one knew where he was staying before going to London. We knew he would be going to the event with Elizabeth Taylor so I decide to arrive in London the day before the event.
I was lucky that I had family in London so I didn't have to worry about finding a hotel. My family thought I was crazy, that I was coming to London and not doing anything else but being at Michael Jackson's hotel.
I went to The Dorchester Hotel as early as I could the day before the event. Walking up to the hotel from the tube station, my stomach was all over the place. Finally after all these years of seeing footage of fans outside this hotel, I was actually going to be part of it all.
As I walked up the road, I could see some fans gathered at the side of the hotel. Walking over to them, I recognized some from Monaco. There was only about 10 fans there. I started talking to them and learnt that Michael had not arrived yet. We sat on a blanket and got to know each other, sharing stories to pass the time. I was just so happy to be there, to be part of something I had for so long dreamed of doing.
As the hours went by, more and more fans arrived. Photographers started gathering at the front of the hotel. There was something in the air, very different to the morning time when we had been sitting around chatting.
OH MY GOODNESS MICHAEL ARRIVED
WOW I've never experienced anything like it. It was totally insane. Unlike at Monaco , there were no barriers and the cars were surrounded by fans. The noise, the screaming, people running everywhere, the camera flashes...
Everyone was pushing forward, to get to Michael, Something in me just felt it was wrong. I can't explain it, I so wanted to get close to him, but I just couldn't be part of all that mess. I stayed at the edge of the crowd, just taking it all in. Just being there, being part of it, knowing that he was actually there was enough for me.
As soon as he went into the building, everyone raced round the side of the hotel. Many fans had banners and flags, one girl had even traveled from America. Everyone was standing under the top balcony, waiting and watching. Suddenly about 30 minutes later, Michael appeared on the balcony, waving to all of us. The atmosphere was amazing, I was still in shock that I was actually there. He was only there for about 3 mins but it was far far more than I had expected.
As soon as things had calmed down, many fans decided it would be a good time to get something to eat. Even though I had traveled on my own, I suddenly found myself with lots of new friends, the fans I had spent the day chatting with and fans who I had seen in Monaco. It was soo nice to be welcomed and accepted, everyone was there just for Michael and it didn't matter that I was on my own.
We went down the road to get something to eat and we were away about an hour. As we walked back to the hotel, we could feel something in the air and we started running. As we turned the corner to the hotel entrance we saw all the fans around the cars at the front door.
Oh my goodness, could this day get any more crazy??
As there were so many around the cars, I ended up beside Flea and her friend at the front of the car, near the entrance to the road.
Again as soon as Michael was spotted walking through the hotel lobby, the screams, the noise, the cameras just as before. I was so glad I was at the edge of the crowd again. Michael got into the car and everyone was around it, banging on the windows and calling his name.
Suddenly Michael's bodyguard got out of the car and pushed his way through the crowd. Goodness where is he going, is he coming over here??
Somehow I don't know how it happened, but he came over to Flea and her friend and started making room through the crowd. As I was with them, I was brought through the crowd too. It all happened very quick and none of us had time to think about what was happening.
The bodyguards pushed through the crowd bringing us to the car. We had no time think or make sense of what was happening, but somehow thanks to the bodyguards, we found ourselves at the car door, with the bodyguards behind us holding the crowd back.
My heart was thumping but I just felt this overwhelming sense of calm, of peacefulness, that I had never felt before. I knew the fans were still screaming, that the cameras were flashing but it all just faded away.
I found myself at the car door, with Flea one side of me and her friend the other side. The car door slide back and Michael was there right in front of us. He was wearing a black jacket and a red mask, and these huge brown eyes just looked right in mine. Flea and her friend had gifts for him, he took these and put them on the car seat and shook our hands and just kept saying thank you, thank you. Flea and her friend spoke some words to him but I just stood there, looking at him, looking into his eyes.
Suddenly the car door slid closed, and we felt the weight of the crowd pushing us against the car. The bodyguards had got back into the car and they started driving out of the hotel grounds.
The huge crowd of fans moved with the cars, out into the traffic. We were just so stunned at what had just happened, we just stood there watching everything. It didn't feel real, had we just met Michael Jackson, we stood there in shock, trying to process everything in our heads, to remember every tiny detail.
We learnt later that he had gone shopping in Harrods but we just stayed at the hotel.
By now it was getting late, and as much as I wanted to stay to see him come back to the hotel, I had to leave. I was staying with my cousins and I didn't want to be back too late.
Talking to Flea and other fans I found out that many fans stay out all night at the hotel. They said that as there is always a group of fans it is safe as everyone stays together and that as it was May, that its not that cold. After having such an amazing day, I really did not want to leave but I had to, so I decided I would stay out the next night, as we would be going to the event and would be staying out late anyway.
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