January 26, 2024

Madonna Defends Herself From fans’ legal lawsuit

This post was written by: Michael Sayers

Representatives for Madonna have stated that she will “vigorously defend” against legal action brought by two fans after she missed a show by more than two hours in New York in December 2023. They have claimed that they would not have paid for tickets if they knew that the concert would finish that late.  The concert was on Wednesday 13th December 2023 at 8:30pm EST, but it did not start until after 10:30pm which then ended at 1am.

Spokespeople for the American artist and promoter Live Nation claimed that the delay was due to a technical problem. “The shows opened in North America at Barclays in Brooklyn as planned, with the exception of a technical issue during soundcheck on December 13th,” the joint statement stated.

“At the time, press accounts amply recorded the delay caused by this. We plan to mount a strong defence in this matter.”

It was also underlined that the tour’s latest European leg had “received rave reviews”. However, the two fans, Michael Fellows and Jonathan Hadden, have argued that “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”.

“False advertising, negligent misrepresentation, and unfair and deceptive trade practices” are the reasons they are suing Live Nation and the Barclays Centre, who have not responded to the lawsuit as of yesterday (25th January 2024).

“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,” according to the paperwork. The lawsuits also claimed that on other nights at that exact venue around the 13th, concerts started more than two hours late.

Plaintiffs have not indicated the damages they are suing for.

As this took place in the US, the claim being brought is subject to US law of course.  This differs markedly from UK law. The US legal system is primarily based on common law, which is developed through judicial decisions and precedents. Each state has its own legal system, and there is also a federal legal system that governs certain matters.

The UK legal system is a combination of common law and statutes. The legal system in England and Wales is distinct from that in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

However the most relevant and marked difference between the two is the levels of compensation which can be claimed (and on what basis).   The claim will no doubt interest other artists however and will be one watched closely.