Burning Question: With Rihanna keeping fans waiting three hours for her latest show, does she risk any kind of backlash from this? Will her rudeness cost her at all? — Quanda, Georgia
In short: Yep, Rihanna probably does have to pay cash money to her business partners every time she makes the fans wait. (The fans themselves? They don't get anything. Unless they ask. And even then, they may not get anything.)
In general, Rihanna is starting to develop a reputation as one of the least reliable concert-givers in the business; she's kept fans waiting an average of three hours in cities such as Antwerp, Mexico City, London, and Boston.
And then there was, as you noted, yesterday's gig: Monaco, where fans had paid upwards of $800 to see her perform "during dinner." After a few hours, fans began to get testy, tweeting "is she lost?" Rihanna finally graced her audience with her esteemed presence 20 minutes before midnight.
Daren Libonati, a longtime live-venue veteran and former honcho of the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, tells me that the last time he can recall such a habitual schedule-buster was in the heyday of — get this — Axl Rose. And that was in the early 1990s, kids.
All that said, don't expect Rihanna to suffer all that much, no matter how long she likes to hang around backstage posting naked pictures of herself on Instagram.
According to Libonati, a three-hour delay for a single concert might cost a venue $7,000 to $10,000, thanks to overtime pay, electric bills, that kind of thing.
That loss will probably get passed onto Rihanna's promoter, which, if the promoter is particularly annoyed, will in turn pass that bill onto Rihanna herself.
"That's only for basic labor, though," Libonati points out. "It doesn't include late fees for, say, limos, planes kept waiting on the ground. But that's the starting amount."
It is also a tiny, tiny amount. At least, for someone like Rihanna, who, per Forbes, was the fourth-most powerful celebrity on the planet last year, with estimated earnings of $53 million.
In other words, a $10,000 bill equals about 0.02 percent of Ri-Ri's yearly salary. Something tells me she doesn't even notice.
For what it's worth, Rihanna does seem to be aware that her lateness has financial consequences. This week she donated $5,000 to a suburban Chicago high school to cover the costs of a brief — but way, way late — visit earlier this year. Just how long did she keep them waiting that time? More than four hours.
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