Michael Jackson New York February 2001
After the London trip, I found myself with so many new friends and connections. By now I was a regular member on many fan sites and would spend as much time as I could in internet cafes, keeping up with all the latest Michael news. A whole new world opened up to me, the world I had been for so long isolated from.
The year 2000 went by so fast , I was having so much fun with this new online Michael world, suddenly it was January 2001.
One day I got a call from Flea. She told me that Michael would be doing something in New York, a speech in Carnegie Hall, would I be interested in going. I called the other fan, Jenny, who I knew might be interested in going too. She was very excited and I called Flea back and she said she would get tickets for us. As we were all travelling from Dublin, we decided that we would all get the same flight and share the hotel in New York.
We started planning and organizing our trip. Unfortunately Fleas friend couldn't make the trip after all, so in the end it was just me, Flea and Jenny who went to New York.
In the weeks leading up to the trip we found out that Michael was launching a new charity and that's why he was giving a speech in Carnegie Hall. We also found out that many American fans would be there and they were holding a fan meet up the day before the event.
It was the first time all 3 of us had traveled to New York and we were so excited on the flight over. Arriving in New York for a Michael trip was very different to the European trips we had been on the previous year.
We had been online checking all the fan sites before we left and we were very surprised that there was no information about where Michael was staying.
Sunday 11 February 2001
When we arrived in New York and went exploring, we couldn't find any other fans. We tried to get information but all we could find was about the fan meet up in Hard Rock Cafe so, disappointed we couldn't find Michael or other fans; we decide to go sightseeing.
Monday 12 February
We start our day by checking the fan sites. It’s so strange we can’t find any information about Michael being in New York. We leave messages to try to meet up with the other fans we know are in the city. Disappointed again, we head out to the city and went sightseeing. We decided to try to find Carnegie Hall and found it was very close to our hotel. We couldn't believe that that there was no promotional posters for the Heal The Kids Event.
Tuesday 13 February
We get up and head back to the internet cafe to see if anyone has replied to the messages we left. The only information we find is about the meet up at Hard Rock Cafe. Today is Princes birthday and we have cards & gifts for him, but again we can’t find information about where Michael is. We decided to bring them to Carnegie Hall as it looks like now this is the only time we will see Michael on this trip. Another day sightseeing in cold New York.
Wednesday 14 February
Finally we know we will see Michael today. We spend the morning checking the fan sites and then about 3 pm we went to the fan meet up at Hard Rock Cafe .The meet up was organised by MJNI and we met fans from both America and Europe who had traveled to New York for the event. While it was great to meet the fans, it felt very strange to be in a restaurant, knowing that Michael was in the city somewhere. We stayed there most of the afternoon, as it was the only place where most of the fans were gathering.
The hotel we were staying at was very near Carnegie hall so about an hour before the start we walked to the building.
Outside the building finally we found all the fans again. At least we felt we were on a Michael trip and not just some random trip to New York. Outside the building, there was a great atmosphere, fans chatting and laughing, meeting old friends and making new friends.
There was a press conference before the actual event, so we knew that Michael would be arriving soon. As it was so cold, everyone gathered in the entrance foyer. Suddenly the atmosphere changed, and everyone started screaming and looking up to the balcony. Oh my goodness, Michael had come out onto the upper balcony to see us. He was only there a few minutes, but the change in everyone was electric. I really don’t think some people really believed that he would be there but after seeing him waving on the balcony, it became real.
As soon as Michael left the balcony area, they let us into the auditorium. We were on the ground section, about 6 rows from the front on the left hand side. Looking around, there was mix of MJ fans dressed in Michael t-shirts and regular people there to support the charity.
Everyone took their seats and the lights went down. The atmosphere was electric. On the stage were a table and a podium for the speakers to stand at.
As soon as Michael came on the stage the place went crazy but after a few minutes everyone quietened down. The other speakers seemed a bit shocked at Michael’s reception. When Michael walked to the podium everyone started screaming again, but once he started talking there was just one or two screams every so often. When he finished talking everyone ran to the stage. We put all our gifts and letters on the stage for him, and eventually went back to our seats.
After the event, we all went outside as fast as we could and waited for him to leave. We tried to follow the cars but we did not know where he was going
Thursday 15 February
Our last day in New York. Our flight was in the evening, so we spent the morning in Times Square. It was a very odd feeling, seeing Michael and the fans, knowing he was in the city but not being at the hotel with the other fans. It almost felt like a dream, that last night didn't happen.
After the trip to New York, things started getting very crazy on the fan sites. We knew Michael was working on a new album, and as the weeks went by we started hearing more and more information, from people who were working with him. The excitement in the fan community was building and building, every day some new piece of information became known, song titles, names of artists & producers working with Michael, unconfirmed track listing, leaks of snippets of songs. It was a very exciting time to be part of the fan community and on the fan sites.