Madonna, having not been to Australia in around 23 years, did not demonstrate to the Australians the old phrase “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” Instead, she reminded Australia of why her absence was so long, and why they felt so insulted for her ditching their homeland for more than two decades, according to The Guardian.
A three-hour delay in starting her Brisbane concert created an interesting moment for both the Australians and Madonna herself. Having not been to Australia in 23 years, the Australians waiting for her to start her concert could only assume the delay was either her fault, or she was ditching the concert: both presenting a possible public relations nightmare for Madonna. Madonna surely must have realized how bad her over 20-year absence combined with the tardiness of her return looked to the Australians, but when she finally arrived at 11:22, she had some choice words to share. She blamed the audience, which is not really a recommended way to go about an apology in such circumstances, stating she was hardly ever late, according to The Guardian.
“It’s you people that get here early that’s the problem. Stay home, do your hair and makeup, have a tequila. Roll yourself a fat one… no, I don’t believe in that s**t… Just come late and I won’t have to come early. We’ve got three more shows and we want to fix the problem.”
— WPTV (@WPTV) March 17, 2016
They might “fix the problem,” but Madonna’s statement was quickly contradicted on two points; that the rest of her shows will start on time, and that she is hardly ever late to a show. Contradicting the first point, her publicist Live Nation warned her second Brisbane show may start late as well.
“Following a late start last night, fans should note, the timing for tonight’s performance may also be delayed… We encourage concert goers to keep this in consideration when making arrangements to get home safely.”
Contradicting her second point was a representative from Live Entertainment, according to the Courier Mail, who agreed with fans that Madonna often arrives on stage late.
“[It is a] fairly common occurrence that Madonna is on-stage late.”
Perhaps Madonna, with her wild sexually obvious shows, her pole dancing on a nun, and her other stunts, believes she is capable of doing what she wants at any time. The reactions of the Australians, though, were less than appreciative.
A writer for the Brisbane Times, Nathanael Cooper, who found Madonna’s delay “breathtakingly arrogant,” settled the argument about whether Madonna was two or three hours late for the Brisbane concert.
“Madonna kept her fans waiting three hours for those who took the door time as gospel, two hours for those who figured there would be some kind of support, and 44 minutes for those who listened to the centre announcements saying she would take to the stage no earlier than 10.30pm… Public transport to the entertainment centre, in the outer suburb of Boondall, stopped shortly after midnight, an hour before the concert ended. Some attendees were reportedly given refunds.”
@Madonna fans getting refunds in Brisbane pic.twitter.com/JiDfa6Ub20
— Tigs (@TigsAu) March 16, 2016
Additionally, the concert had already been rescheduled once and was originally supposed to take place on a Saturday night. Many fans were appalled at how expensive their tickets were for a mid-week concert.
— Sally (@Sally_Springs) March 16, 2016
What is certain is that fans were more than upset. All over social media, both during the three-hour wait and after the concert, fans were posting to social media their angry observations throughout the experience. Social media created an unprecedented sort of reaction to Madonna’s tardiness, and whether or not Madonna will be welcome back again in Australia before another 23-year wait remains to be seen. However, what seems to be nagging Madonna at present is that it is unlikely the remainder of her shows will win any love or prestige back. The performance seemed to matter little to her fans; her fans were more interested in what she had done: making them wait for so long.
[Photo by Graham Denholm/Getty Images]