blogdowntown 89.3 KPCC | Southern California Public Radio

Stay Connected

@blogdowntown on Twitter
blogdowntown on Facebook


Emotional Crowd Inside Jackson Memorial Service; Few Outside

By Eric Richardson
Published: Tuesday, July 07, 2009, at 07:40AM
Waiting to Cross Eric Richardson [Flickr]

A crowd assembles at Figueroa and Olympic, some waiting to cross into L.A. Live, others selling MJ merchandise.

(Last update: 1:10pm) A series of emotional speeches and performances brought out tears both on-stage and in the audience attending the Michael Jackson memorial service at Staples Center today, but a crowd that many expected to form outside the facility failed to materialize.

Thousands of LAPD officers were involved in today's deployment, which involved blocking off the area around L.A. Live. The city has estimated its costs for the service at nearly $4 million.

7:30am — Two and a half hours before the memorial service for Michael Jackson, the blocks around L.A. Live are the place to find any manner of MJ merchandise. Street vendors hawking buttons, t-shirts and anything else one could imagine are set up on sidewalks and in nearby parking lots.

Olympic Blvd. remains open to traffic, with a contingent of the LAPD officers on-scene directing cars and pedestrians.

8:15am — Still an orderly scene outside. A steady, orderly stream of those with wristbands and tickets can be seen crossing into the L.A. Live area past the LAPD barricades. There does not yet seem to be any significant build-up of ticketless fans, but no one knows what the situation will be at 10am when the service starts.

10:00am — The motorcade is here and the service is getting set to start. The scene around L.A. Live is extremely orderly, with only handfuls of people outside each of the barricade points.

10:45am — Just added a set of photos from outside Staples Center and around the barricades.

10:50am — This event encompasses the entire L.A. Live campus. Club Nokia is in use as a press room for writers. The GRAMMY Museum's Sound Stage is hosting a viewing for roughly 200 friends and members. The Farm and ESPN Zone were selling breakfast on the sidewalk as people entered.

1:15pm — The service has ended, and those who were inside Staples Center and Nokia Theatre are headed home. I would generously estimate the crowd outside the barricades at 500.

A swarm of media descended on those exiting the service, with TV crews picking people off for interviews. There had to have been a hundred different crews, so getting through uninterviewed would have been quite the feat.


Tweet This Story || Share on Facebook

Related Topics

Related Stories: