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Madonna Sued for Late Concert Start Times; Fans Allege ‘Deceptive Trade Practices’ and ‘False Advertisement’

Madonna is being sued by a pair of her fans who claim the “Material Girl” is falsely promising a concert start time that she has repeatedly failed to meet.

New York City residents Michael Fellows and Jonathan Hadden accuse Madonna, the Barclays Center and Live Nation of “unconscionable, unfair, and/or deceptive trade practices” in a lawsuit filed in Brooklyn federal court on Wednesday.

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The concert flyer and promotion for Madonna’s three “Celebration” concerts in New York in December state the show would begin at 8:30 p.m. but as the complaint points out, the shows did not begin until some time after 10:30 p.m. Now the pair of fans are arguing this constitutes a breach of contract.

According to the filing, the fans claim they were “confronted with limited public transportation, limited ride-sharing, and/or increased public and private transportation costs” by their show on Dec. 13 ended past midnight.

“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 lawsuit states.

The suit also cited the late start times of Madonna’s Dec. 14 and Dec. 16 shows at the venue, making note of the pop star’s “long history of arriving and starting her concerts late.” The defendants’ actions “constitute not just a breach of their contracts,” the suit alleged, “but also a wanton exercise in false advertising” and “negligent misrepresentation.”

Representatives for Madonna and Live Nation responded to Variety’s request for comment with a statement that claimed the lawsuit has “no merit.” The rest of their statement reads as follows: “Madonna’s just completed, sold-out 2023 Celebration Tour in Europe received rave reviews. 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 has historically been tardy to her shows and appearances and the lawsuit makes note of the pattern, writing that it has 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.” Due to this history, Wednesday’s lawsuit seeks class-action status.

Madonna’s current concert run was rescheduled from last July due to the singer’s hospitalization for a bacterial infection she suffered in June. She’s expected to close the concert’s U.S. leg on April 15 in Texas.

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