30 years ago today, Michael Jackson moonwalked his way to Cork for one of the biggest concerts the rebel county had experienced to date.

Michael Jackson fans, 1988. Photo: Irish Examiner Archives

The Prince of Pop kicked off the first of his two concerts on July 31, 1988 – which fell o the August bank holiday weekend that year.

130, 000 fans from all over the country made their way down south to Pairc Ui Chaoimh for the Bad tour dates, which at the time caused major traffic at the Red Cow roundabout.

Through-the-night ‘Jackson trains’ were also organised for fans by Iarnród Éireann.

WATCH: On this day, 30 years ago, Michael Jackson played Cork’s Páirc Uí Chaoimh

Fans sleeping out ahead of the concerts. Photo: Irish Examiner Archives

As he touched down in the rebel county hundreds of fans made their way to the Cork airport to witness his arrival.

WATCH: On this day, 30 years ago, Michael Jackson played Cork’s Páirc Uí Chaoimh

Michael Jackson arriving in Cork Airport, 1988. Photo: Irish Examiner Archives

WATCH: On this day, 30 years ago, Michael Jackson played Cork’s Páirc Uí Chaoimh

Michael Jackson arriving in Cork Airport with his kids, 1988. Photo: Irish Examiner Archives

The singer’s band and assistants reportedly occupied an entire floor of Jersey’s Inn hotel which featured a temporary dance-floor to allow Jackson and his dancers practice their stunning routines.

With the set opening with ‘Wanna Be Starting Something’, crowd cheers could be heard in Glanmire.

WATCH: On this day, 30 years ago, Michael Jackson played Cork’s Páirc Uí Chaoimh

Fans show their enthusiasm for Michael Jackson at his 1988 concert in Pairc Ui Chaoimh. Picture: Eddie O’Hare, Irish Examiner.

WATCH: On this day, 30 years ago, Michael Jackson played Cork’s Páirc Uí Chaoimh

Photo: Irish Examiner Archives

WATCH: On this day, 30 years ago, Michael Jackson played Cork’s Páirc Uí Chaoimh

Photo: Irish Examiner Archives

The concerts, which at the time generated £2 million in ticket sales, spared no expense with a hydraulic crane that emerged from the stage floor and a Tarzan-like rope that he used to cruise through the air during Thriller.

WATCH: On this day, 30 years ago, Michael Jackson played Cork’s Páirc Uí Chaoimh

Photo: Irish Examiner Archives

Here’s the set-list in full:

Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’

This Place Hotel

Another Part of Me

I Just Can’t Stop Loving You

She’s Out of My Life

I Want You Back / The Love You Save / I’ll Be There

Rock With You

Human Nature

Smooth Criminal

Dirty Diana

Thriller

Bad Groove

Workin’ Day and Night

Beat It

Billie Jean

Bad

Encore:

The Way You Make Me Feel

Play Video

Man in the Mirror

Were you there?

The anniversary of the concerts come a week shy of The Jackson’s first Irish gig ever in Dublin this weekend.

The famous brothers Tito Jackson, Jackie Jackson, Marlon Jackson and Jermaine Jackson are reuniting to wow the audience at Dun Laoghaire’s Beatyard festival on Friday.

Which also falls as the August Bank Holiday weekend.

The only original member missing from the band will be the late Michael Jackson.

This morning, Jackie Jackson spoke to Dave Fanning on RTÉ Radio 1 about how the Jackson 5 came to be, the death of his father Joe last month and how he still misses brother Michael becoming upset when speaking of him.

Nine years ago, Jackie was walking through the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas with Jermaine’s boys when he learned that brother Michael was dead.

Jackie told Dave about passing a store where Michael would have bought a lot of his antiques, “all of a sudden inside the store they had a monitor up showing Michael buying antiques inside the store… and I was passing by just looking at Michael in the store on the monitor when all of a sudden this guy said, ‘I hear Michael Jackson just died’, and I turned around and looked at him and kept walking”.

Jackie spoke of hearing it a second time, which led him to call his mom, “yes Jackie, he’s dead. He’s gone, and I broke down, I couldn’t…”

Jackie became upset during recalling the moment with Dave, “Then someone had to drive me home, I couldn’t drive home. It’s very painful”.

Ahead of The Jacksons gig this weekend, Jackie spoke of knowing that Michael was a real talent and one of the best out there, they never begrudged him his success, “we were so proud of him”.

Share it: