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Prince tribute concert management in transition, more details expected soon

An image from the Revolution's concert at First Avenue on Sept. 3, 2016. It remains unknown whether Prince's 'Purple Rain' band will participate in the U.S. Bank Stadium event. (photo by Steven Cohen for MPR)

With less than a month to go before the one official Prince tribute concert is supposed to take place at U.S. Bank Stadium, management of the event is in transition. A spokesperson for The Door, a PR and marketing agency based in New York, told MPR News via e-mail that the firm is representing the official Prince tribute and that they’re “working fast and furious to get the correct (and exciting) information out in the next 24 hours.”

Representatives of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority say they do not yet have a signed contract for the show, but that negotiations are ongoing — and they confirm that The Door is now handling the event. A preliminary lineup leaked via an e-mail from the Minnesota State Arts Board late last month, but no official lineup has been announced and at least one act mentioned in that e-mail (Sheila E.) has said she’s not booked to play the show.

No details on ticket availability have been released, and by mid-week the entire event seemed to be in jeopardy. The manager of Mint Condition, a band that was expected to play the show, told KARE 11 that “he just found out Wednesday afternoon that the concert might not take place.”

The Door has represented, among other clients, Michael Jackson. According to the agency’s website, “The Door began working with Michael Jackson and Sony Music in 2007 for the 25th Anniversary of the landmark album Thriller. We continued to be the agency of record for the Icon’s music in both life and death, representing his album of new songs from the vault entitled Michael and the 25th Anniversary of Bad, as well as the Spike Lee documentary on the making of the record.”

Previously, an organization called the NorthStar Group was closely involved with the Prince tribute, and over this past weekend that organization’s L. Londell McMillan teased on Twitter that details might be coming soon. However, in recent days McMillan has been silent about the tribute and has not responded to media queries.

McMillan, an attorney, worked with Prince during the artist’s lifetime and was appointed in June as one of two consultants working with Prince’s estate to manage the late icon’s entertainment assets. The other advisor is Charles A. Koppelman, a former chairman of EMI Records.

The tribute concert was announced in July with a statement from Prince’s family. “We are excited for the opportunity to bring everyone together for the official family celebration of Prince’s life, music and legacy, and there is no better place to do it than his hometown of Minneapolis,” the family said at the time. “We are honored by the artists who will pay tribute and grateful to those that have worked so hard to make this celebration possible.”

As the estate and Prince’s family work to move forward with the tribute concert, plans to open Prince’s home and studio to public tours — under the co-management of Elvis Presley’s Graceland estate — are moving forward. Tickets are currently on sale for Paisley Park tours starting Oct. 6 (a date originally chosen to coincide with the planned tribute concert), and last week a job fair was held in Chanhassen to vet prospective employees.

We’ll update this story as more details become available.