Why is Madonna being sued? Exploring the lawsuit filed by concertgoers

Madonna
Madonna is being sued. (Photo by Graham Denholm/Getty Images)

Madonna is facing a federal lawsuit for allegedly starting three New York City concerts later than scheduled. The delay reportedly caused the plaintiffs and ticket buyers harm who “had to get up early to go to work” the next day.

The lawsuit was filed in Brooklyn federal court on Wednesday, January 17, 2024. The artist's fans, Michael Fellows and Jonathan Hadden, said they bought tickets to a December 13 show at Barclays Center part of the 65-year-old musician's Celebration tour, as per Billboard.

According to the court filings, the show was advertised to start at 8:30 pm, but the artist did not take the stage until after 10:30 pm.


Madonna sued over late concert start by two fans

On Wednesday, two fans Michael Fellows and Jonathan Hadden filed a lawsuit against Madonna. They claimed that the Material Girl singer breached her contract with concertgoers and violated New York state laws by starting three December shows past 10:30 rather than the scheduled 8:30, as per Variety.

In the court documents filed in Brooklyn Federal court, the two concertgoers have accused the artist, the Barclays Center, and Live Nation of:

“Unconscionable, unfair, and/or deceptive trade practices.”

By the time the plaintiffs left after the December 13 concert's end at 1 am, they were “left stranded in the middle of the night” and “confronted with limited public transportation, limited ride-sharing, and/or increased public and private transportation costs”, as per The Guardian.

The late finish on the weeknight show also affected their ability to "take care of their family responsibilities the next day." The lawsuit added:

"Madonna had demonstrated flippant difficulty in ensuring a timely or complete performance, and Defendants were aware that any statement as to a start time for a show constituted, at best, optimistic speculation."

The court documents also pointed out the singer's late start times on the December 14 and December 16 shows at the venue, as per Billboard. They emphasized the pop star’s "long history of arriving and starting her concerts late, sometimes several hours late.” Attorneys for Fellows and Hadden write added:

"This history occurred throughout 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 suit alleged that the show delays were not just a breach of contract with the concertgoers “but also a wanton exercise in false advertising” and “negligent misrepresentation.”

Madonna, Live Nation, and Barclays Center have not released any official statements about the lawsuit.

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Edited by Rhythm Bhatia
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