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Madonna fans drop lawsuit over late concert start

Two US concertgoers who sued Madonna for starting a New York gig two hours late have dropped their lawsuit.

Plaintiffs Michael Fellows and Jonathan Hadden launched legal action against the singer, the concert venue and promoter Live Nation. They alleged the Queen of Pop’s 13 December 2024 tour date at New York’s Barclays Center was advertised as starting at 8.30pm, but did not begin until 10.30pm and finished well past midnight.

In the lawsuit filed in Brooklyn federal court, the pair claimed they “would not have paid for tickets” had they known the show would not finish until 1am, and claimed “false advertising, negligent misrepresentation, and unfair and deceptive trade practices”.

“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,” said the filing. “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.”

In response, lawyers for Madonna argued: “If a fan is familiar enough with Madonna’s concert history to know her performances run for two hours and 15 minutes, that fan would surely know that Madonna typically takes the stage well after the ticketed event time… and plays late into the night.”

People reports the case has now been dismissed after Fellows and Hadden sent a notice of a “voluntary dismissal with prejudice”, meaning they cannot re-file the claim.

“Defendants believe that this action was a frivolous strike suit designed to force them to incur legal expenses”

In a letter dated 19 June, Jeff Warshafsky, lawyer for Madonna and Live Nation, clarified that the dismissal “was not the result of any settlement” between the parties, adding that the defendants “do not agree with plaintiffs’ position that each party should bear its own fees and costs”.

“Defendants believe that this action was a frivolous strike suit designed to force them to incur legal expenses,” reads Warshafsky’s letter. “Plaintiffs have now abandoned this lawsuit when it became clear that this approach would not result in a settlement payment and that they would need to oppose defendants’ motion to dismiss the amended complaint.”

Disgruntled fans in Washington DC filed a similar lawsuit against Madonna in April 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 attorneys.

And the star was sued yet again earlier this month, with a class action suit alleging false advertising and unwanted exposure to sexual content in relation to her 7 March concert at Los Angeles’ Kia Forum.

Madonna’s 80-date Celebration Tour ran from October 2023 to May this year, generating $227.2 million from 1.1 million ticket sales, according to Pollstar data. The outing concluded with the biggest concert of the American pop icon’s career – a free show attended by an estimated 1.6m people on Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on 4 May.

 


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Madonna hit with fresh concert lawsuit

Madonna has been hit with yet another lawsuit over her Celebration Tour – this time alleging false advertising and unwanted exposure to sexual content.

Justen Lipeles, who attended the singer’s 7 March concert at Los Angeles’ Kia Forum, has filed a class action suit accusing the Queen of Pop of breach of written contract, negligent misrepresentation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, false advertising, negligence/negligent infliction of emotional distress and unfair competition.

“During the performance plaintiff was forced to watch topless women on stage simulating sex acts,” reads the filing. “Plaintiff felt like he was watching a pornographic film being made.

Legal documents seen by the Guardian and The Blast show the plaintiff also accuses the Queen of Pop of lip-syncing and says he became ill in the heat after the star ordered the venue’s air conditioning to be shut off,

“The temperature inside the Kia Forum was uncomfortably hot as required by Madonna who refused to allow the air conditioning to be turned on,” continues the suit. “Further, during most of the performance it was apparent to plaintiff that Madonna was lip-syncing.”

Echoing other complaints filed against Madonna in Washington D.C. and New York over her alleged tardiness, Lipeles also says the gig did not begin until 10pm despite being advertised as starting at 8.30pm.

“Forcing consumers to wait hours in hot, uncomfortable arenas and subjecting them to pornography without warning is demonstrative of Madonna’s flippant disrespect for her fans”

“Defendants did not provide any notice to plaintiff that the concert will start at a later time,” continues the suit, which also names promoter Live Nation as a defendant. “Forcing consumers to wait hours in hot, uncomfortable arenas and subjecting them to pornography without warning is demonstrative of Madonna’s flippant disrespect for her fans.”

Madonna and Live Nation are yet to comment on the lawsuit.

Earlier this year, fans in Washington D.C. filed a lawsuit against Madonna for her late appearances at her December 2023 concerts in the city’s Capital One Arena They claimed that by starting her shows over two hours behind schedule, she showed “total disrespect for her fans” and also say they were forced to wait for hours in a “hot, uncomfortable arena,” claiming that Madonna herself had insisted on the temperature.

The case followed a similar filing by two fans who attended one of the star’s three shows at New York’s Barclays Center, also in December.

The 80-date Celebration Tour generated $227.2 million from 1.1 million ticket sales, according to Pollstar data. The outing, which ran from October 2023 to May 2024, visited Europe and North America before finishing with the biggest concert of the American pop icon’s career – a free show attended by an estimated 1.6m people on Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on 4 May.

Madonna has generated box office takings of $1.61 billion over her 12 tours, selling more than 12.6 million tickets over 650 shows.

 


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Madonna’s Celebration Tour grosses $227.2 million

Madonna’s The Celebration Tour generated a total of $227.2 million at the box office after 1.1 million tickets were sold for the 80-date trek, according to Pollstar data

The Live Nation-produced outing, which ran from October 2023 to May 2024, visited Europe and North America before finishing with the biggest concert of the American pop icon’s career – a free show attended by an estimated 1.6m people on Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on 4 May.

That concert, promoted by Bonus Track in partnership with Live Nation, was the Queen of Pop’s first gig in Brazil since 2012 and was the only South American date of the tour.

“It was unbelievable,” Live Nation’s head of global touring Arthur Fogel, Madonna’s promoter since 2001, tells Pollstar. “It was an incredible experience and pretty flawless pulling it off in the end. It wasn’t easy to get there, as you can imagine, there was a lot to deal with.

“Madonna [has been] such a strong musical force in the pop world for so long that it’s just awe-inspiring”

“The navy was even there protecting the beach. Seriously, there were Navy destroyers just a few hundred yards off the beach controlling the boat action and access. It was amazing.”

Madonna, who graces the cover of the fourth annual Pride takeover edition of IQ Magazine, has generated box office takings of $1.61 billion over her 12 tours, selling more than 12.6 million tickets over 650 shows. Six tours took more than $100m.

Pollstar reports that 2008/09’s Sticky & Sweet Tour earned $419m and was the highest-grossing tour by a female artist for more than 15 years, while 2012’s MDNA Tour grossed $301m. Other standouts include 2006’s Confessions Tour ($194m), 2015/16’s Rebel Heart Tour ($169.8m) and 2004’s Re-Invention Tour ($125.3m).

“She’s had to endure a lot as that target because she takes so many risks in her career, is upfront about it and doesn’t shy away from a lot of the things that people react strongly to one way or the other,” adds Fogel. “But on this tour and show you realise her catalogue of hits, apart from everything else, the actual hit after hit after hit, that Madonna is such a strong musical force in the pop world for so long that it’s just awe-inspiring.”

 


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Madonna plays biggest-ever show to 1.6 million fans

Madonna delivered the biggest concert of her career on Saturday night (4 May) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

An estimated 1.6 million people attended the free show at Copacabana Beach, where the 65-year-old wrapped up her Celebration Tour.

The star performed for over two hours, delivering a 26-song setlist featuring guest appearances from two Brazilian musicians – Anitta joined for ‘Vogue’, while Pabllo Vittar guested on the tour debut of ‘Music’.

The concert, promoted by Bonus Track in partnership with Live Nation, was The Queen of Pop’s first gig in Brazil since 2012 and was the only South American date of the tour.

No tickets were required for the event, with fans granted entry on a first-come-first-serve basis on the day of the performance.

The star performed for over two hours, delivering a 26-song setlist featuring guest appearances

According to Reuters, many attendees had waited for hours or even days to secure a good spot, while others watched from boats or beachfront apartments. The show was also broadcast live on Brazilian free-to-air television network TV Globo.

The event was presented by financial services company Itaú, and sponsored by the City of Rio de Janeiro, the State Government of Rio de Janeiro and Heineken, with support from Deezer.

Before Saturday night, Madonna’s best-attended show was a performance at Parc de Sceaux in Paris, France on 1987’s Who’s That Girl World Tour, which drew 131,100 concertgoers.

Copacabana Beach is renowned for mega concerts by artists such as The Rolling Stones in 2006 and Rod Stewart, who broke the world record for the most-attended concert of all time when he performed there in front of 4.2 million people in 1994.

Madonna launched The Celebration Tour in London last October with the first of six sold-out nights at The O2. Its European leg grossed $77.5 million from 429,000 ticket sales, according to Billboard Boxscore.

 


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Rotterdam stadium paid millions to stop hosting concerts

A Rotterdam stadium will reportedly receive ‘millions’ in compensation after it was ordered to stop hosting concerts.

Feyenoord Stadium (also known as De Kuip) has hosted concerts from the likes of Madonna, Michael Jackson, The Rolling Stones, U2 and Rammstein.

From 2026, the 51,177-capacity venue will no longer be permitted to host concerts due to the construction of new homes in the local area.

The local municipality says the sound insulation required for the properties is too expensive so it is, instead, opting to compensate the stadium for the loss of concerts.

“Many people have great memories of a concert in De Kuip but we have a social responsibility to be a good neighbour”

The last major concerts at De Kuip took place in 2019 with Rammstein and Marco Borsato, however, just six months ago the stadium director announced ambitions to revive the venue’s concert programme.

“Of course, it is a shame that we can no longer facilitate pop concerts,” says director Lilian De Leeuw. “Many people have great memories of a concert in De Kuip but we have a social responsibility to be a good neighbour.

“With the one-off compensation, we now ensure future-proof, healthy business operations and we remain a solid home base for Feyenoord, also financially.”

De Leeuw says the stadium, which is home to Dutch football team Feyenoord Rotterdam, now hopes to host an increased number of national and international matches.

 


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Madonna faces more legal woes over delayed gigs

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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Madonna confirms Copacabana Beach tour finale

Madonna has confirmed rumours that her 40th anniversary tour will wrap up with a historic free concert in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – the biggest show of her career.

The Queen of Pop will bring her Celebration Tour to a close on Copacabana Beach on Saturday 4 May. Promoted by Bonus Track in partnership with Live Nation, it will be her first gig in Brazil since 2012 and will be the only South American date of the tour.

No tickets are required for the event, with entrance to be applied on a first come first serve basis on the day of the performance, which will be broadcast live on Brazilian free-to-air television network TV Globo.

“The confirmation of this show is a great gift for all Madonna fans,” says Bonus Track partner Luiz Guilherme Niemeyer. It will truly be a unique moment, with one of the most successful musical tours expected across several countries, and the artist chose exactly Rio de Janeiro for this grand finale. Much more than a show, we will show the world the impact of this great event, open to the public, held on Copacabana Beach, a scene that dominates the global imagination as an example of natural beauty.

“Furthermore, it is important to highlight here the numerous positive impacts of this event for the city and the State, with the increase in tourism and the economy.”

The stage will be located in front of the Belmond Copacabana Palace Hotel. The event is presented by financial services company Itaú, and sponsored by the City of Rio de Janeiro, the State Government of Rio de Janeiro and Heineken, with support from Deezer.

“All Brazilians can celebrate and be inspired together with us in this story that transcends generations”

“We are turning 100 years old and celebrating this date alongside our customers in this historic and free Madonna show in Copacabana is something very special and as big as the history of Itaú Unibanco,” says the bank’s CMO Eduardo Tracanella.

“To celebrate our centenary, [there is] nothing like bringing the icon of this campaign, free of charge, so that all Brazilians can celebrate and be inspired together with us in this story that transcends generations. We will soon be releasing new features for Itaú customers.”

Launched in London last October with the first of six sold-out nights at The O2, The Celebration Tour has spanned 14 countries, with its European leg grossing $77.5 million from 429,000 ticket sales, according to Billboard Boxscore.

The run continues this week in North America with two dates at Houston’s Toyota Center. Upcoming dates also include stops in Atlanta and Tampa, as well as three nights at Miami’s Kaseya Center and five nights at Palacio De Los Deportes in Mexico City.

Madonna’s most well-attended show to date was a performance at Parc de Sceaux in Paris, France on 1987’s Who’s That Girl World Tour, which drew 131,100 concertgoers. However, free concerts on Copacabana Beach have routinely attracted in excess of one million people to concerts in the past. The Rolling Stones’ famous 2006 show pulled in an estimated 1.5m fans, while a 1994 New Year’s Eve gig headlined by Rod Stewart reputedly drew 4.2m.

 


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Madonna to wrap up tour with Copacabana Beach gig?

Madonna is set to wrap up her Celebration Tour in Brazil with potentially the biggest concert of her career.

The 65-year-old has reportedly lined up a “free and historic” show on Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana Beach. Visit Rio, the city’s official tourism office, also told Brazilians to “get ready” for the event, which is yet to be officially confirmed.

The New York Daily News reports the May gig, paid for by the Brazilian bank Itaú, would mark the pop icon’s 40 years in music, as well as the bank’s 100th anniversary.

“Yes, it’s true: Madonna is coming to Brazil for a mega show on May 4, which can potentially become the largest show of the Queen of Pop’s four-decade career,” declares Rio-based newspaper O Globo.

Free concerts on Copacabana Beach have routinely attracted in excess of one million people to concerts in the past. The Rolling Stones’ famous 2006 show pulled in an estimated 1.5m fans, while a 1994 New Year’s Eve gig headlined by Rod Stewart reputedly enticed 4.2m.

Madonna’s most well-attended show to date was in front of 131,100 people in Paris, France in 1987

Madonna’s most well-attended show to date was a performance at Parc de Sceaux in Paris, France on 1987’s Who’s That Girl World Tour, which drew 131,100 concertgoers.

The Celebration Tour, which commemorates the 40th anniversary of Madonna’s breakout single Holiday, does not currently include any stops in South America. The tour launched in London last October, with the European leg grossing $77.5 million from 429,000 ticket sales, according to Billboard Boxscore.

The North American leg, which was rescheduled after Madonna was hospitalised with a serious bacterial infection, began in December 2023 and is due to conclude in April with five nights at Palacio de los Deportes in Mexico City.

In January, Madonna and tour promoter Live Nation said they would “vigorously” contest a lawsuit filed by two fans after the singer started a concert at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center more than two hours late.

 


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Madonna to ‘vigorously’ contest legal action

Madonna and tour promoter Live Nation say they will “vigorously” defend themselves against a lawsuit filed by two fans after the singer started a recent concert more than two hours late.

Concertgoers Michael Fellows and Jonathan Hadden are suing the singer, along with Live Nation and New York’s Barclays Center over the 65-year-old singer’s 13 December performance at the venue.

The pair, who say the show was advertised as starting at 8.30pm but did not begin until 10.30pm, are seeking unspecified damages, alleging “false advertising, negligent misrepresentation, and unfair and deceptive trade practices”, adding they “would not have paid for tickets” had they known the event would not finish until 1am.

“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,” reads the lawsuit, launched in Brooklyn federal court.

The lawsuit also alleges that Madonna has a “long history of arriving and starting her concerts late”.

“We intend to defend this case vigorously”

The Queen of Pop and Live Nation have issued a joint statement in response to the claims.

“Madonna‘s just completed, sold out 2023 Celebration Tour in Europe received rave reviews,” it says. “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.”

Madonna performed three nights at Barclays Center last month as part of the North America leg of her 40th anniversary tour. The Brooklyn venue is yet to comment on the case.

 


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Madonna sued by fans for starting concert late

Madonna, Live Nation and Brooklyn’s Barclays Center are being sued in the US by two fans who allege the singer started her recent New York concert two hours late.

Madonna performed three nights at Barclays Center last month as part of the North America leg of her ongoing 40th anniversary Celebration Tour. Plaintiffs Michael Fellows and Jonathan Hadden say the 13 December show was advertised as starting at 8.30pm but did not commence until 10.30pm.

Fellows and Hadden add they “would not have paid for tickets” had they known it would not finish until 1am, and claim “false advertising, negligent misrepresentation, and unfair and deceptive trade practices” in the lawsuit filed in Brooklyn federal court.

“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,” states the filing. “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.”

As the show ended past midnight, the pair – who are suing for unspecified damages – say they were “confronted with limited public transportation, limited ride-sharing, and/or increased public and private transportation costs”.

“Madonna had demonstrated flippant difficulty in ensuring a timely or complete performance”

The lawsuit is seeking class action status due to the 65-year-old allegedly having a “long history of arriving and starting her concerts late”.

“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,” it adds.

The Guardian reports that Fellows and Hadden are accusing Madonna, Barclays Center and tour promoter Live Nation of “unconscionable, unfair, and/or deceptive trade practices” for the late start time, which they argue represents a breach of contract and “a wanton exercise in false advertising”, as well as “negligent misrepresentation”.

ABC7 reports the pop icon faced similar legal action during her 2019 Madame X Tour, but the suits were later voluntarily dismissed.

Madonna, Live Nation and the Barclays Center have been approached for comment.

 


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