Four lucky Madonna fans caught in a ticketing botch-up were able to watch their idol after her chef stepped in and saved the day.
Kelly Broadfoot and three friends discovered the tickets they had purchased online did not work moments before the singer was due to take to the stage in Auckland. They were among more than 40 fans turned away by officials at Vector Arena on Saturday night.
Desperate to get inside, Mrs Broadfoot, 39, recognised Madonna's personal chef Jaime Laurita from Instagram and approached him. After explaining their distressing situation Mr Laurita promised to help.
After five minutes he reappeared with official tickets.
Mrs Broadfoot said: "When we found out our tickets were invalid we started to freak out, my friends began crying and we didn't know what to do.
"I noticed this guy go past and said to my friends, 'that's Madonna's chef,' I recognised him because I started following him on Instagram when Madonna and her crew arrived in New Zealand.
"I walked over, tapped him on the shoulder and told him what happened. My friends were hysterical and he took the time to listen to us and seemed genuinely concerned.
"He said, 'wait here, I promise I will resolve this' and came back with official tickets for us.
"I couldn't believe it! He was so nice. We were in total disbelief but he came through! We wouldn't have been able to see Madonna if it wasn't for him - he's a hero."
Mr Laurita said he was more than happy to help and doesn't consider himself a hero.
"It's amazing how the universe works and I just happened to be given some tickets of guests who could not make the show. It was a timing thing for them and I'm always somehow attracted to those in need. In this case it was needing tickets."
More than 40 people were turned away from the concert because tickets they bought online did not scan.
North Shore resident Ms Broadfoot and her friends from Christchurch bought their tickets in October from resale site Queenoftickets.com for $290 each. After their tickets failed to scan at the gates they were sent to the ticket booth to ask for reprints. They joined one of four queues of fans having issues with tickets bought from resellers, but many were able to enter after receiving a reprint.
In some cases fans had spent more than $500 on tickets.
"Everyone was crying, it was chaos," Ms Broadfoot said.
Queenoftickets.com apologised for the mix-up and has told Ms Broadfoot and friends to expect a full refund within 5-10 days.
"Admittedly, we had quite a few issues at this event and we are working hard this morning to get to the bottom of it," Queenoftickets said in an email.
The website blamed Ticketmaster for the mix-up.
"We've now had confirmation that Ticketmaster reissued a large quantity of tickets but failed to properly notify our supplier of the change. We've also been made aware that customers purchasing through other resale websites online also experienced similar issues as a result of the relocation."
A Ticketmaster spokesman said there were "a number of relocated patrons, which is often the case as the artist makes changes to their proposed stage setup after we have gone on sale".
The company said anyone who was relocated would have been directed to the box office to exchange their tickets for new seats.
"By no means do we look to turn away people from entering events with legitimate tickets."
Queenoftickets.com emphasised that the tickets it sells are "100 per cent legitimate".
Pianist answers Madonna's call
A Kiwi teacher received the request of a lifetime - to give Madonna's daughter a private piano lesson.
Nick Duirs revealed he was contacted by the Pullman Hotel and asked if he was available to give an "in-room" piano lesson. The curriculum manager for music at Kristin School said the request came from "a very special guest".
Little did he know that Madonna was looking for a pianist to work with her 10-year-old daughter Mercy. The singer even made an appearance in her gym gear and spoke to Mr Duirs when the pair had finished.
On his Facebook page Mr Duirs revealed that Madonna's son David was having a guitar lesson from a guitarist from her band.
When he arrived Mr Duirs got straight into scales with Mercy.
"She was such a lovely kid. Very cute. Mum was there too. She had her own piano books on the road with her so we worked on her Czerny etudes, some Bach and then some boogie-woogie!"