During the first few months of 1999 we heard that Michael was going to do 2 charity concerts in the summer, one in Korea and one in Germany. I rang Gloria Haydock, the president of MJNI just to ask if she knew when they would be shown on TV. OMG!!!!!!!!!!! one minute I was asking her about the concert being shown on TV and the next minute she was telling me that tickets were still available and that MJNI were also putting together fan package of flights, hotel and concert ticket!
I told her I would call her back as by now my heart was racing and I was shaking. I hadn't seen him in nearly 2 years and now Gloria was asking me how many tickets I needed. The first thing I did was ring the other members of the YANA group as I knew that they didn't know about the tickets. I couldn't believe it when one by one they all said they couldn't go!! Then finally one girl rang me back and said she could go. As it was our first time travelling to see Michael, we hadn't got a clue what to do so we decided to book onto the fan package being organised by MJNI
So we traveled to Munich with MJNI. It was a 3 day trip; we arrived in Munich on the Saturday in time for the celebration and welcome for Michael at his hotel, went to the concert on the Sunday and came home on the Monday. As it was my first time to travel to see him and I didn't know anyone else who was going I was happy to go on the fan club trip. It meant that I didn't have to worry about finding somewhere to stay or how to get to Munich. On the other hand it meant I had to leave Munich the day after the concert. Back then I had no idea of what it is like when Michael is on a public trip like this, now with experience I realize I should have done the trip myself.
A soon as we arrived in Munich I wanted to get to Michael's hotel as soon as possible. It was crazy in Munich; I had never experienced anything like it. When we got to the hotel we managed to get a space at the front of the barrier. Three fan clubs had joined together to put on an afternoon of performances to welcome Michael to Munich.
As soon as Michael arrived it was crazy. He got out of the car and started walking over to the barriers to fans. Then suddenly he was gone. Even now I still get goosebumps and I can hear the screams. That day I was part of what I had grown up watching on TV, the amazing reaction that Michael causes, MICHAELMANIA.
Afterwards as we were walking back to our hotel I had my banner with the Irish flag around my waist. A guy saw it as he walked past and asked us if we were Irish as his friend was from Ireland too. How random is that, to meet another Irish person among the huge amount of people that were there for Michael. So we went back to the barriers and talked for a while. We exchanged numbers and promised to keep in contact.
The fan I was with wasn't really interested in staying at the hotel with the fans after Michael had gone inside so we spent the rest of the evening around the shops in Munich.
The next day, as we had seated tickets, we took our time going to the stadium. We took the underground train and joined the crowds heading to the stadium. The atmosphere was amazing, it seemed like the entire city was heading to the concert.
When we eventfully found our seats, the concert had started but we hadn't missed much. In my heart I regretted not getting a standing ticket and being down at the front of the stage, but as I was with another fan who wasn't interested in that I had to just go with the flow.
The atmosphere in the stadium was electric, the sun shining, everyone having a great time. Some of the performers really got the crowd going and it was soo amazing to see the huge crowds of people enjoying the music.
About 4pm, something changed in the air.. OMG... Michael came on and introduced Andrea Bochelli and gave a little speech. It was insane to feel the change in the air, the way the stadium came to life when he came on the stage.
Finally after hours of waiting, it was time for Michael to perform. It is very hard to describe what it was like to be there. There was just something so magical, so special in the air. The whole stadium seemed to come alive.
Then the unmistakable start of Earth Song. Having been at the Dublin History concert 2 years before I knew that this was a very special song. As Michael went up the bridge and the pyrotechnics started we had no idea something was wrong. Suddenly when he got to the top, and the middle section fell, my heart was in my mouth. Oh my goodness, what had just happened? Was Michael alright? For a few seconds we couldn't see him, but then we saw him climb back on the stage. Something didn't feel right but he was back on the stage so he must be ok.
After Earth Song, Michael did You Are Not Alone, but something didn't feel right. The concert ended very oddly, no one knew what was happening. The fireworks started, the lights went on and an announcement about the concert being over.
We left the stadium and made our way back to our hotel. I wish we had gone back to Michael’s hotel, but the fan I was with was not interested so we just went to bed.
The next morning we left Munich with the MJNI group and found out that the bridge had fallen and Michael had been taken to hospital but was ok and was now back at his hotel.
While I was glad that I had gone on the MJNI trip for my first time away, I felt that I had missed out on a lot of things. Part of it was the person I had traveled with, as she wasn't interested in doing the same things I was. I decided that if there was another trip to see Michael, I would make my own travel arrangements and not travel with that person again.
During the rest of that year I still went to the monthly Yana meetings but hardly anyone seemed interested anymore. It felt like the the group changed after we got back from Munich. It seemed like the group split in 2 with me and 2 others thinking and acting 1 way and the others in the group another way.
I still keep in contact with the other Irish girl I met in Munich, but as she didn't live in Dublin she couldn't come to the YANA meetings.