So we did it again! The team sat down to have the discussion, does Kingvention make a comeback in 2017? We had a lot to consider and figure out, always aiming to be bigger and better with our events. More importantly, were we ready to throw another big soirée if so how would we go about executing it? Any event connected to Michael Jackson requires originality, attention to detail, finesse and that added touch of MJ magic. Careful planning is a must and it takes around a year to prepare for such an occasion. Kingvention is an event that has taken on a life of it’s own over the past few years and whilst we are thrilled with the success, each year becomes that bit more challenging to bring the vision to life…
Before we get into this year, let’s take a quick stroll down memory lane…
2015 Celebrating 20 years of HIStory
Me sharing a funny moment with the late Eddie Wolfl, whom dedicated this year’s event to
2016 Celebrating 25 years of Dangerous
So after two amazing events how did we decide to come back and do it all again? After many drinks had been consumed in celebration of the 2016 event, a theme was in place. This time we decided to put the focus on Michael’s live performances and name this one ‘Access all areas’. The previous two events had highlighted key mile stones for two of Michael’s albums; the 20th anniversary of the HIStory album and my all time favourite album, Dangerous.
This year Kingvention took place on what we dubbed MJ week. ‘Scream’ the Halloween themed hits album was released starting with a phenomenal launch party just a few days before Kingvention. The team were prepared for several long days and very few hours of sleep! After the arrival of our three special guests, we all sat down to dinner to get better acquainted. Each year we have a pre-event dinner as a welcome to London for our guests and to give them the chance to have a catch up and mingle a bit with some members of the team.
Photo Courtesy Of Steven Whitsitt
Following a fun evening of memories shared, good food and a few drinks with our guests. I got to assist Michael’s former photographer Steven Whitsitt as he captured Dorian Holley (former backing vocalist for Michael and This Is It vocal director) during an impromptu photoshoot in the middle of London Victoria. It was pretty fun to see how Steven works first hand. He had scouted out some interesting locations that very morning before we began work. His relaxed way of shooting and directing his artist or model explains how he has captured some really iconic frames over the years.
To say this day was a full one would be an understatement! It all started with the photoshoot followed by turning the Park Plaza Victoria in to a Michael Jackson haven!
Something that we all love is that each year we are always given the opportunity to learn and discover new things about Michael. Eddie Garcia is a man of many talents with the most energetic and fun personality! One of our VIP guests and a principal dancer on two of Michael’s world tours, ‘Bad’ and ‘Dangerous’ he was a huge hit with the fans. He shared with us some interesting anecdotes and techniques Michael liked to implement when putting together a live performance. It was extremely insightful to learn about how the routines were enhanced from what we see in the short films. Small nuances and tweaks in the choreography have brought new life to some of our beloved stage classics.
Eddie taught the original (Jackson/Peters) choreography to Thriller, the way Michael taught it to him as a new feature to this year’s event… ‘A Dance Masterclass’.
I have to say that this year was our biggest event and in my opinion our best. The venue looked amazing when we had finished setting up. Every guest brought with them something totally different. The fans were hungry for nothing but a good time and the team were all in really high spirits. As always when you come to one of our events we like to kick things off with a bang and the Supafresh Dance crew definitely helped us get the party started!
What can you expect when you come to Kingvention? Well the key is in the name! It’s a convention all about the King Of Pop! MJ liked to always do things big and bold and as die-hard fans we always aim to throw an event that would be worthy of Michael’s attendance if he were still here with us today. Upon arrival huge banners and murals adorn the walls, professional live performances take place, exhibitors are set up, merchandise is everywhere and of course the main reason for our tiered tickets, our live interviews with our VIP guests…
Live Interviews with Kingvention host, Pez talking to Steven, Eddie & Dorian
Dorian Performing his bluesy renditions of Billie Jean and The Way You Make Me Feel
A number of fans told us that Kingvention is a major highlight in their calendar and that really means a lot, especially when you see a community that’s formed with Kingvention attendees. Some of our friends and delegates have even developed a social crew and branded themselves the K Squad. Putting an event like this together can be challenging and stressful for everyone involved at times. When you see the reaction of the guests, friendships forming, smiles all around and a group consisting of hundreds people of all ages and backgrounds partying the night away that’s what makes it all worth it.
Michael Jackson fans have always been loud and proud in our support of the King Of Pop. When it comes to music and entertainment MJ changed the game in more ways than one! He made us re-evaluate what constitutes as a great performer, writer and recording artist. His philanthropy, humanitarianism, personality and creativity have brought so many of us joy. Without Michael I wouldn’t have met some of the most important people in my life. Even eight years since his passing, I still meet new and inspiring people because of him. Being a member of the MJVibe, King Of Shop and Kingvention team is something I am extremely proud of. Knowing that 10 years ago we started something that has gone global and has brought so many people together whilst we honour Michael is what makes it all worth it.
We close out each event with an after party in an area of the venue – Club 30s in honour of the movie Moonwalker. Here are some highlights featuring me and the team…
Will we be back to do it all again? We’re not sure… I guess all I can say is stay tuned!
Review by Mayah Thomas
Check out her blog HERE
You can also leave your feedback on Kingvention 2017 here below in the comment box! We are looking forward to hear your experience…