Madonna points to ‘years-long history of arriving late’ as she seeks dismissal of suit over delayed concert

Madonna points to ‘years-long history of arriving late’ as she seeks dismissal of suit over delayed concert

Madonna has cited her “years-long history” of “arriving several hours late to prior concerts” to seek dismissal of a lawsuit by two fans after her New York concert last year started two hours late.

According to court filings, Madonna’s lawyers called to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing that the fans’ claim of having to “get up early to go to work” after the concert ended at 1am was not an “injury” worth damages.

Their motion said a fan wouldn’t expect Madonna to appear on stage for her Celebration tour at the time printed on the tickets as she had a “years-long history” of “arriving several hours late to prior concerts”.

They also pointed out that “nowhere” on the ticket did it advertise that Madonna would start the show at 8:30pm and no reasonable concertgoer could expect the headline act to take the stage at the ticketed time.

“Rather, a reasonable concertgoer would understand that the venue’s doors will open at or before the ticketed time, one or more opening acts may perform while attendees arrive and make their way to their seats and before the headline act takes the stage, and the headline act will take the stage later in the evening,” they argued.

In the lawsuit filed against Madonna and entertainment company Live Nation in January, the two concertgoers claimed that the 13 December show in New York started at 10:30pm despite the tickets advertising an 8:30pm start time. The fans claimed they “would not have paid for tickets” had they known what time Madonna would take the stage.

They argued that the delay, which they alleged happened again at the singer’s subsequent shows in Brooklyn on 14 December and 16 December, was a “wanton exercise in false advertising, negligent misrepresentation, and unfair and deceptive trade practices”.

They said that the concertgoers were left with “limited public transportation, limited ridesharing, and/or increased public and private transportation costs” because the show ended at 1am. Some were even left “stranded in the middle of the night”, they said.

The singer’s lawyers responded: “Plaintiffs speculate that ticketholders who left the venue after 1am might have had trouble getting a ride home or might have needed to wake up early the next day for work. That is not a cognizable injury.”

The lawyers also noted that one of the fans who filed the lawsuit “raved” about the concert in a Facebook post, which meant that the show “met or exceeded his expectations”.

The plaintiffs “got just what they paid for: a full-length, high-quality show by the Queen of Pop”, the filing said.

The fans’ attorney told People magazine that his clients would file a response to Madonna’s motion to dismiss their lawsuit.

“We believe our response will address the issues raised in the MTD and that when the court is fully briefed, we will be able to proceed with this action and obtain compensation for those ticket holders seeking refunds,” he said.

After the suit was initially filed, Madonna’s team and Live Nation had said in a statement: “The shows opened in North America at Barclays in Brooklyn as planned, with the exception of a technical issue December 13th during soundcheck. This caused a delay that was well-documented in press reports at the time. We intend to defend this case vigorously.”

Throughout her Celebration tour, Madonna has given fans an autobiographical insight into her career.

In The Independent’s five-star review of the tour, critic Helen Brown writes that the tour is a reminder of why the “Queen of Pop still reigns”.