Madonna ‘Celebration Tour’ Lawsuit Dropped With No Settlement

Madonna Slams Fans Lawsuit Needing to Wake Up Early Not Grounds to Sue
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A class action lawsuit against Madonna for starting a concert two hours late has been dropped.

On Wednesday, June 19, People reported that the suit by Michael Fellows and Jason Alvarez was permanently dismissed and can’t be refiled. 

The concertgoers sued the 65-year-old pop star after attending the December 13, 2023, stop on her Celebration Tour at Barclays Center in New York City. They stated that the show was advertised to begin at 8:30 p.m., but they did not see her take the stage until “between 10:45 p.m. and 11:00 p.m.” They accused Madonna, promoter Live Nation and the venue of “unconscionable, unfair and/or deceptive trade practices” by listing 8:30 p.m. as the start time.

As a result of the Queen of Pop’s tardiness, they claimed that they were “left stranded in the middle of the night” with limited public transportation options and increased prices for ride-share services. (Barclays Center is located next to the New York subway system’s Atlantic Avenue/Barclays Center Station, which serves nine subway lines 24 hours a day, though trains are less frequent late at night.)

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Jeff Warshafsky, a lawyer for Madonna and Live Nation, wrote in a June 19 letter (via People) that the lawsuit’s dismissal “was not the result of any settlement” between the plaintiffs and the defendants. 

“Defendants believe that this action was a frivolous strike suit designed to force them to incur legal expenses,” Warshafsky said. “Plaintiffs have now abandoned this lawsuit when it became clear that this approach would not result in a settlement payment and that they would need to oppose defendants’ motion to dismiss the Amended Complaint.”

In April, Madonna’s lawyers filed a motion to dismiss the case, writing, “Plaintiffs speculate that ticketholders who left the venue after 1 a.m. might have had trouble getting a ride home or might have needed to wake up early the next day for work. That is not a cognizable injury.”

They also said that no “reasonable concertgoer” would expect the headlining act to begin their set at the exact time advertised on their ticket.

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“Rather, a reasonable concertgoer would understand that the venue’s doors will open at or before the ticketed time, one or more opening acts may perform while attendees arrive and make their way to their seats and before the headline act takes the stage, and the headline act will take the stage later in the evening,” they wrote.

In late May, Madonna was hit with another lawsuit over her Celebration Tour. Concertgoer Justen Lipeles alleged that he and the audience at her May 7 show in Los Angeles were subjected to “pornography without warning,” including “topless women on stage simulating sex acts.” He also claimed that the “Like a Virgin” legend had the air conditioning turned off during the performance, causing him to fall ill in the sweltering heat. 

Madonna, whose stage persona has long embraced erotic imagery, has not made a public statement on Lipeles’ complaint.

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