I’m calling it right now: this Madonna late concert lawsuit has all the makings of being the next Gwyneth ski trial. As we discussed on Wednesday, Madonna is being sued by ticket holders who went to her Celebration Tour concert in Brooklyn last December, for starting the show over two hours late. They were left “stranded!” in downtown Brooklyn (above 11 separate subway lines). These people had to work the next day — before noon! Here’s the thing, I agree that it’s despicable for Madonna to disrespect her paying fans’ time for hours on end, especially given her history of charging backup dancers $100 a minute for being late to rehearsals. I’m on the side of the concertgoers. But they keep saying too much and making their own case sound bad, in my opinion. The latest development is that Madonna’s team has made their first comments on the lawsuit:
Flippant difficulty: Madonna is being called to task by a pair of ticketholders for exhibiting ‘flippant difficulty’ in starting her recent string of Brooklyn “Celebration Tour” concerts on time, court records show. A lawsuit against the entertainer filed Wednesday, January 17 in New York, and obtained by CNN the next day, accused her of false advertising and negligent misrepresentation after the singer started her concerts at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center last month after 10:30pm on all three nights, when the tickets advertised that the shows would start at 8:30pm.
Significant inconvenience: The suit claims that most concertgoers left the venue after 1am each night, causing them significant inconvenience, including being “confronted with limited public transportation, limited ride-sharing, and/or increased public and private transportation costs at that late hour… In addition, 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,” the complaint read.
Defendants & plaintiffs: The lawsuit cites Madonna as a defendant, along with tour operator and promoter Live Nation Worldwide, Inc; Live Nation M Tours; and Brooklyn Events Center, LLC, which does business as Barclays Center. The proposed class of plaintiffs includes ticketholders for her tour throughout the US, and the plaintiffs are asking for an undisclosed amount in damages to be determined at trial.
Consequential damages: “Defendants have collected money for concert tickets from Plaintiffs and other Class Members who reasonably believed the Concerts would promptly begin at 8:30 p.m. Had Plaintiffs and other Class Members known that the Concerts would start after 10:30 p.m., they never would have agreed to purchase the tickets,” the complaint read. The plaintiffs involved in the proposed class action “demand judgment against Defendants for actual and consequential damages.”
Team Madge responds: “Madonna’s just completed, sold out 2023 Celebration Tour in Europe received rave reviews,” a joint statement from Live Nation and Madonna’s management shared with CNN on Wednesday read. “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,” the statement concluded.
Am I crazy (don’t answer that) or is this statement from Madonna’s people just as spotty as the claims from the concertgoers? I guess you could say the opposing sides are well matched in that sense. Taking it from the top: “Madonna’s just completed, sold out 2023 Celebration Tour in Europe received rave reviews…” The reviews are irrelevant to the case, unless there’s a rule somewhere that you can hold up a show for hours as long as it’s good or well-reviewed. And as for touting that the tour was sold out, that’s like highlighting for the plaintiffs that they can squeeze her for hefty damages. Moving on, if the delay was down to a technical gaffe during soundcheck, why wasn’t the soundcheck done earlier? That’s just stage management 101. And for the life of me I cannot understand what they’re aiming for by saying the delay was “well documented in press reports at the time.” How does this help her defense? Are they suggesting it’s old news? Cause the suit was filed only one month later, a month in which there were major holidays.
Yeah, so legally I’m disappointed by the arguments from both sides so far. The ticket holders should have simply said “The show started over two hours late, as was well documented,” and Madonna’s team should have left it at “We intend to defend this case vigorously.” But as an audience member, I am sufficiently intrigued by this teaser trailer and am eager to binge on the full series when it airs in a courtroom some time this year. Of course the perfect pilot episode would be Madonna arriving at court… two hours late.
Photos credit: Papculture/Backgrid