Madonna sued by fans in New York over late concert start time


Madonna dancing in a white shawl with blue gloves holding a microphone while performing during the opening night of The Celebration Tour at The O2 Arena on October 14, 2023 in London, England
Image caption,The two fans “would not have paid for tickets” had they known the show would end so late, court documents say

By Helen Bushby

Culture reporter

Two Madonna fans are suing the US singer for being late by more than two hours for a show last month in New York, according to court documents.

They state the show was meant to start at 20:30 EST on all three nights, but in each case it did not begin until after 22:30, ending around 01:00.

The case says they “would not have paid for tickets” had they known it would finish so late.

The BBC has asked Madonna, Live Nation and the Barclays Center for comment.

The case, brought by Michael Fellows and Jonathan Hadden, states that “many ticketholders who attended concerts on a weeknight had to get up early to go to work and/or take care of their family responsibilities the next day”.

They are suing promoter Live Nation and venue the Barclays Center for “false advertising, negligent misrepresentation, and unfair and deceptive trade practices”.

Mr Fellows and Mr Hadden attended the show on Wednesday 13 December 2023, but the legal documents note that other nights at the same venue, on 14 and 16 December, also reportedly started more than two hours late.

“Defendants failed to provide any notice to the ticketholders that the concerts would start much later than the start time printed on the ticket and as advertised, which resulted in the ticketholders waiting for hours,” the document state.

Image caption,The show incorporated dozens of dancers but no band, with many songs reconstructed from original master tapes

The court papers also say Madonna “has a long history of arriving and starting her concerts late, sometimes several hours late”, citing examples including “her 2016 Rebel Heart Tour, her 2019-2020 Madame X Tour, and prior tours, where Madonna continuously started her concerts over two hours late”.

The plaintiffs are suing for unspecified damages.

This is not the first time fans have objected to the singer being late for her shows, and in 2019, a fan sued over a delay for a US show, but he voluntarily dismissed the case a month later, according to ABC News.

In the same year, Madonna had shared a post of her live on stage, in which she told fans: “There’s something that you all need to understand. And that is, that a queen is never late.”

Madonna’s sold-out Celebration tour was a greatest hits show including more than 40 songs from her career, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of her breakout single, Holiday, playing venues including the US, Canada and Europe.

The singer had a health scare last summer, after she was found unconscious in her New York apartment in June and rushed to hospital, where she received treatment for a serious bacterial infection.

She laterĀ said she was “lucky to be alive”, and postponed the start of the tour from July to October last year.

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