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Madonna sued again for late concerts: ‘A consumer’s worst nightmare’

Plaintiffs also allege singer kept concert uncomfortably hot on purpose and that she lip-synced

By Kory Grow

Madonna live in London (Picture: Live Nation UK)

Three formerly true-blue Madonna fans are now seeing red. They have filed a federal class-action lawsuit in Washington, D.C. against the singer and Live Nation complaining that she was allegedly late getting onstage.

The fans, Elizabeth Halper-Asefi, Mary Conoboy, and Nestor Monte, Jr., claim that their tickets said the Celebration Tour would begin at 8:30 p.m. but that Madge didn’t make an appearance until 10:30 p.m. on each of her D.C. dates in December. The suit echoes another suit alleging Madonna was late to a Brooklyn concert last year.

In the filing, obtained by Rolling Stone, the D.C. three say they feel “deceived.” They also claim that they “had to leave the concerts early prior to the concerts’ conclusion, therefore depriving each of them of the benefit of seeing the complete concert.” The lawsuit further alleges that Madonna “maintain[ed] a hot and uncomfortable temperature in the venue during her performance” and that she “lip sync[ed] much of her performance.” These alleged actions, they claim, represent “Madonna’s arrogant and total disrespect” for ticketholders. “In essence, Madonna and Live Nation are a consumer’s worst nightmare,” the lawsuit claims.

When Madonna got onstage at the Dec. 18 D.C. show that the fans were at, the suit claims she told the crowd: “I am sorry I am late… no, I am not sorry, it’s who I am… I’m always late.”

One of the plaintiffs, Halper-Asefi, spent $992.76 on tickets from StubHub, while the others purchased theirs from Ticketmaster. Conoboy spent $537.70 on two tickets while Monte shelled out $252.44 for two.

“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 for the Concerts to begin at the Venue,” the lawsuit claims.

Interestingly, the suit cites several examples of past Madonna tours where she did not get onstage promptly, including her 2016 Rebel Heart tour and Madame X concerts in Brooklyn, suggesting Madonna’s alleged tardiness is well known. “There have been myriad articles in the media and the internet over the years of fans complaining about Madonna not taking the stage for several hours after the advertised start time of her concerts,” the complaint reads. “Unfortunately, not all people who rely on advertising for the concerts know this. Further, even if some ticket purchasers know of Madonna’s unfortunate history of starting her concerts late, they do not know how late she will show-up [sic] on stage at any particular concert, so ticket purchasers arrived at the start time as advertised.” It will be curious to see how the lawyers would argue what they say seems like common knowledge.

The suit alleges deceptive trade practices, a “breach of contract” for not starting at 8:30, and misrepresentation, among other claims. The plaintiffs are seeking damages, interest, and “any other relief.”

Live Nation did not immediately respond to Rolling Stone’s request for comment. A rep for Madonna declined to comment.

A lawyer for the plaintiffs directed Rolling Stone to a footnote from the filing that states, “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.”

Madonna and Live Nation previously responded to another class action suit that similarly alleged the artist was late getting onstage at a Brooklyn concert a few days before the D.C. dates. “The shows opened in North America at Barclays in Brooklyn as planned, with the exception of a technical issue Dec. 13 during soundcheck,” the statement said. “This caused a delay that was well documented in press reports at the time. We intend to defend this case vigorously.”

Another fan sued Madonna in 2019 for a late start to a Miami date of the Madame X tour. The suit was ultimately dismissed.

Madonna will end the Celebration Tour with a free show in Brazil next month.

From Rolling Stone

This article was updated to include plaintiffs’ attorney footnote from filing information.