Prince tribute concert lineup, on-sale date still unknown

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Organizers of a family-sanctioned Prince tribute concert in his hometown of Minneapolis have yet to announce a lineup of musicians or ticket sale plans for the Oct. 13 show at the city’s new NFL stadium.

The delay has frustrated Prince fans who’ve already booked flights and rooms in anticipation, but they said they took some heart Thursday after a New York public relations and marketing agency said it’s come aboard to help manage the event.

“Hope to be in touch in next 24 hours with all questions answered on The Official Prince Tribute,” Lois Najarian O’Neill, a partner in The Door, said in an email to The Associated Press. She did not provide further details.

L. Londell McMillan, a longtime attorney for the late superstar who is helping to manage his estate’s entertainment assets, told the AP last month that the lineup would be announced after Labor Day. He tweeted Sunday, “Big Week Ahead! (hash)KeepTheFaith” and an icon of rain falling on a purple umbrella, but didn’t immediately return a call Thursday.

Ticket sales have yet to be announced, and Michele Kelm-Helgen, chairwoman of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, which runs U.S. Bank Stadium, told the Star Tribune and KARE-TV this week that no contract had been signed. Her spokeswoman, Jennifer Hathaway, declined to say Thursday whether that’s changed, referring all media inquiries to O’Neill.

Angela Reardon, of Birmingham, Alabama, booked her flights, hotel and rental car two days after Prince’s family announced the date in late July.

“It’s nerve-wracking, of course,” said Reardon, who’s also booked a VIP tour of Paisley Park, the studio complex in suburban Minneapolis where Prince lived until he died of an accidental painkiller overdose in April.

“I am coming no matter what,” she said of her trip, during which she’ll also visit First Avenue nightclub, where Prince filmed “Purple Rain,” and the Electric Fetus, reputed to be his favorite record store.

And she was philosophical about the lack of information about the lineup — fan-favorite Prince collaborators Morris Day and the Time, Sheila E., The Revolution and New Power Generation were floated but there has been no confirmation, other than Shelia E. saying she’s not scheduled to perform. Having been a fan for 38 years, she knows Prince himself had a habit of waiting until the last minute before announcing his concerts.

“I’m sure whoever is there is going to be great. … Just to be there with the Purple fans — that’s important,” she said.

It’s telling how many fans have booked travel without knowing any details — or even if the concert will happen — said Jeremiah Freed, aka Dr. Funkenberry, a longtime fan and friend of Prince who hosts a podcast and runs a website.

“I really hope for the fans’ sake that it’s everything they want it to be and more. … I’m hoping for the right names, I’m hoping for big names, but we will see,” Freed said.

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