Michael Jackson’s untimely death has left AEG Live, the organizers of the pop icon’s 50-show comeback tour that was scheduled to begin next week, in a tangled financial (and legal) mess. Reportedly, AEG Live had already invested $30 million in promoting the tour, and the company may now have to refund nearly $85 million worth of tickets, as well.
While it’s too soon to tell how all of this will play out (after all, plans are already swirling to morph the tour into a tribute concert and DVD), the events of the last week certainly raise some intriguing risk management questions. Was AEG Live adequately prepared for this unexpected event? And, in more general terms, how is it possible to predict the unpredictable?