Those were some expensive encores. According to published reports, the rebuilt Wembley Stadium in London, home of the day-long Concert for Diana earlier this month, smacked ’80s pop idol George Michael with a $250,000 fine for sneaking in two encores during his gala June 9 show re-opening the venue.
A spokesman for the stadium said that Michael’s set was a scant 13 minutes longer than intended. Wembley’s rules state that it can fine an act $20,000 for each minute that a show goes over a designated limit, which Michael’s two extra songs did.
Michael, who’s still popular in the U.K. and Europe but whose celebrity has waned in the U.S. over the past decade, was the first act to perform for the stadium’s re-opening following a lengthy and expensive rebuild.
The Wembley spokesperson reportedly told the media that the venue was within its right to issue the fine. No word on what Michael was paid for the show, or whether he planned to fight it. “Wembley can issue fines for concerts that overrun, but that’s between Wembley and the concert promoters,” the spokesperson said.