Pop star Madonna has been labelled “breathtakingly arrogant” after coming on stage over two hours late in Brisbane, Australia.
Hundreds of angry fans walked out and got a refund before the singer finally appeared at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre at 23:15.
“One new mum with a babysitter just gave up,” tweeted one fan at 23:00.
Madonna later said she was “hardly ever late” and joked: “It’s you people that get here early that’s the problem”.
“Stay home, do your hair and makeup, have a tequila.
“Just come late and I won’t have to come early. We’ve got three more shows and we want to fix the problem.”
Later, on Instagram, the star explained the delay, saying: “[I] wanted to be perfect for you!” – but concertgoers were furious.
“How do we get money back after waiting two hrs for Madonna?” an upset fan wrote on the Facebook page for ticket agency Ticketek. “Just disgusting. Traveled (sic) 3.5 hrs for what?”
“It was an absolute joke and definitely not worth the $300+ per ticket,” said another.
The venue is 12 miles from the centre of Brisbane and the last train back to the city leaves shortly after midnight. Hundreds of fans were left queuing for taxis after the concert concluded at 01:30.
“Going on so late means missing the last train home and stranded until sunrise,” wrote Louise Mac on Twitter, in a message directed at Madonna. “Care about your fans?”
“By 2am no trains, no buses, very few taxis or Uber. Without your own car you would be stranded!” added Alison Hale.
Nathanael Cooper, reviewing the show for the Brisbane Times, took aim at the pop star.
“There is something breathtakingly arrogant about an artist taking to the stage late,” he wrote. “It was tiresome, annoying and meant that a show that could have been done by 11pm finished well after 1am.”
Australia’s Associated Press reported that the “increasingly frustrated” crowd had “resorted to Mexican waves and chanting” but was “eating from the palm of [Madonna’s] hand from the moment she appeared on stage in a metal cage.”
Promoter Live Nation said the star was originally due on stage at 21:00, but it had warned fans of a possible late finish.
It also warned in a statement that Madonna’s second Brisbane show, on Thursday, could also be affected.
“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.”
It is not the first time Madonna has shown up late on her current Rebel Heart tour.
After a delay caused her show to over-run at Glasgow’s SSE Hydro Arena last December, the venue cut the power, prompting the singer to perform the end of her set without sound or lighting.
And a spin-off show, called Tears of a Clown, began three hours late in Melbourne last week.
During that show, she appeared to wipe away tears as she discussed the custody battle over her 15-year-old son, Rocco.
The teenager left her world tour last year and moved in with his father, Guy Ritchie, in London. Madonna says the boy has been “illegally detained” and has taken the case to London’s High Court.
The star’s final shows in Australia are on Saturday and Sunday at Sydney’s Allphones Arena. Both performances will be filmed for a tour DVD.