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Madonna faces more legal woes over delayed gigs

US capital lawsuit follows similar New York anger over late starts to Celebration Tour performances

By Gordon Masson on 23 Apr 2024

Forthcoming shows promoted by the Portuguese promoter include Madonna

Disgruntled fans in Washington D.C. have filed a lawsuit against Madonna for her late appearances at December concerts in the city’s Capital One Arena, claiming that by starting her shows over two hours behind schedule, she showed “total disrespect for her fans.”

They also say they were forced to wait for hours in a “hot, uncomfortable arena,” claiming that Madonna herself had insisted on the temperature. Their allegations include accusations of lip-syncing – another instance of false advertising, according to their lawyers.

The legal move follows a similar case filed by two fans who attended one of the star’s three shows at New York’s Barclays Center, also in December. The latest move to sue the star was filed on behalf of three unhappy fans at her two Washington concerts. Both suits have been brought by the same lawyers. Concert promoters Live Nation are named as a defendant in both cases.

In the D.C. complaint, the trio of fans state that the Queen of Pop started her 18 and 19 December performances at the Capital One Arena at 10:40pm, more than two hours after the advertised 8:30pm start time, which they say was “a wanton exercise in false advertising.”

“Forcing consumers to wait hours for her performance in a hot, uncomfortable arena is demonstrative of Madonna’s arrogant and total disrespect for her fans,” states the lawsuit.

“No reasonable concertgoer—and certainly no Madonna fan—would expect the headline act at a major arena concert to take the stage at the ticketed event time”

The Washington concerts plaintiffs – Elizabeth Halper-Asefi, Mary Conoboy, and Nestor Monte, Jr. – say, “This complaint is not about unhappy fans who don’t want to stay up late, but instead, reasonable, responsible people who had commitments to babysitters, work, getting their vehicles out of parking lots that closed at 12:00 midnight, and realizing that public transportation would no longer be operating.”

In response to the earlier New York lawsuit, Madonna and Live Nation’s lawyers claimed that fans attending concerts by the 65-year-old should not expect her, or any other headliner, to start the concerts at the advertised start time. “No reasonable concertgoer—and certainly no Madonna fan—would expect the headline act at a major arena concert to take the stage at the ticketed event time,” countered the defendants’ legal team, further arguing that fans cannot sue over something they were aware of before they bought their tickets.

However, in an effort to avoid similar arguments, the lawyers for the D.C. plaintiffs noted in court papers, “Reasonable consumers have seen that concerts featuring Taylor Swift and Bruce Springsteen, whose tours are also promoted by Live Nation, do start on the time indicated on the ticket and have similar experiences attending Broadway theater, NFL football and Major League baseball games.”


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