Madonna asks judge to toss lawsuit over late concert start time: “Fans got just what they paid for”

Madonna’s attorneys on Thursday filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit against the pop superstar for starting a concert two hours late, arguing the plaintiffs didn’t demonstrate any clear injuries, court documents show.

Plaintiffs Michael Fellows and Jonathan Hadden filed the lawsuit earlier this year after attending one of Madonna’s global Celebration Tour shows in Brooklyn in December, alleging they were “misled” by the 8:30 p.m. advertised start time.

They also sued Barclays Center and Live Nation for “wanton exercise in false advertising, negligent misrepresentation, and unfair and deceptive trade practices.”

The plaintiffs argued they wouldn’t have purchased tickets if they’d known the concert was going to start at 10:30 p.m. They also claimed the show’s end time of about 1 a.m. possibly inconvenienced or injured concertgoers as a result of limited transportation options and being forced to stay up later than planned.

Madonna’s lawyers argued that concerts rarely start on time, and that hers in particular are well known for their late starts. They also pointed out that Hadden posted on Facebook the day after that concert that he had “never missed a Madonna Tour” and that he later told CNN he had “been to every Madonna tour since 1985,” making it clear the late start time couldn’t have come as a surprise, the motion read.

According to the court documents, Hadden also praised the show on Facebook, calling it “[i]ncredible, as always!”  

Madonna performs during “The Celebration Tour” at Barclays Center on December 14, 2023, in New York City.

Kevin Mazur/WireImage for Live Nation

“Mr. Hadden’s press interviews at best suggest he may be irritated that one of his favorite acts takes the stage later than he would prefer,” the lawyers said, arguing that this was not sufficient grounds for a claim of injury.

Madonna’s lawyers also alleged there was no proof the late start time injured any concertgoers, including the plaintiffs, who they argued stayed to watch the whole show instead of leaving early.

“Fans got just what they paid for: a full-length, high-quality show by the Queen of Pop,” Madonna’s lawyers said.

January’s lawsuit wasn’t the first time fans tried to take action over Madonna’s late start time. In 2019, a Florida fan sued over Madonna’s delayed start in Miami Beach.

“There’s something that you all need to understand,” Madonna told her fans during a Las Vegas concert in 2019. “And that is, that a queen is never late.”

—Aliza Chasan contributed reporting.

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