Madonna Moves to Dismiss Lawsuit Alleging Late Concert Start Time — ‘Fans Got Just What They Paid For: A Full-Length, High-Quality Show by the Queen of Pop’

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A social media post purportedly published by one of the plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit centering on the alleged late start time of a Madonna concert. Photo Credit: Digital Music News

Madonna, Live Nation, and the Barclays Center have moved to dismiss a class-action complaint levied by two individuals who say they suffered “actual and consequential damages” due to the artist’s allegedly late concert start times.

Counsel for the defendants just recently urged the court to toss the suit, which was submitted in mid-January. As we reported at the time, the complaint – one of several such actions spearheaded by the plaintiffs’ attorneys, according to the appropriate websites – rather astonishingly centers on the time at which Madonna performed as part of her ongoing tour.

A December 13th Barclays Center show, the first of three consecutive Celebration Tour concerts in the Big Apple, was “promised to begin at 8:30 p.m,” per the initial complaint. However, “Madonna did not take the stage until after 10:30 p.m. on all three nights, with most concert attendees leaving the Barclays Center after 1:00 a.m.,” the New York City-based plaintiffs wrote.

These plaintiffs maintain that they “would not have paid for their tickets had they known” about the timetable, with certain attendees having allegedly been “left stranded in the middle of the night because they missed their arranged ride home or public transportation and some private transportation was limited” when the concert let out.

As mentioned at the outset, the defendants have unsurprisingly fired back against the claims (among them false advertising, breach of contract, and New York business-law violations), urging their dismissal and questioning whether the plaintiffs are subject to an arbitration clause.

On the former front, counsel for Madonna relayed that “a reasonable concertgoer would understand that the venue’s doors will open at or before the ticketed time,” with “one or more opening acts” (Honey Dijon at the December 13th show) then performing before the headliner takes “the stage later in the evening.”

Furthermore, the plaintiffs weren’t harmed (they “do not plead any injury that they themselves suffered by spending the night at an ‘incredible’ concert”) and should have known of the likely start time given what they acknowledged as “the years-long history of Madonna arriving several hours late to prior concerts,” per the filings.

“But fatally, Plaintiffs do not allege that they suffered any such ‘injury,’” the defendants spelled out for good measure. “Neither Plaintiff alleges that he experienced difficulty getting home or increased transportation costs.”

Hardly stopping there, the defendants’ legal team also noted the possibility of deposing the plaintiffs, who, the attorneys reiterated, may be subject to Ticketmaster’s far-reaching arbitration clause. (We’ve reported on the latter, the validity of which has been unsuccessfully challenged by different litigants, a number of times over the years.)

The plaintiffs’ counsel allegedly “would not provide” information about where the filing parties had purchased their tickets, the dismissal document indicates, making clear that Madonna and Live Nation reserve the right to dismiss or compel arbitration “should discovery reveal they [the plaintiffs] agreed to the Ticketmaster terms of use or other terms of use that require arbitration.”