On the first anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death, June 25, the San Diego County Fair celebrated the pop icon by hosting the “Ultimate Michael Jackson Tribute Band,” Who’s Bad.
By 7:00 p.m., the Paddock’s stage area was filling up for the 9:00 p.m. show. At 7:30 p.m., to the surprise of the crowd, 400 zombie-dressed dancers entered the Paddock to perform Jackson’s song “Thriller.” Each of the dancers had gory face makeup and bloody clothes.
Christopher Estrella, owner of C-Star Productionz in San Diego, was hired by the Fair to organize and choreograph the dance. He put out an open casting call to studios around the county and included kids and senior citizens.
“The group had been practicing for the past six weeks — one day a week for about two and half hours — in a field in Mira Mesa,” said Estrella. Each participant received a free fair admission and parking pass.
“Only the Fair staff knew about us coming,” said Estrella, who performed the role of Michael Jackson onstage.