A link to a competition winners’ section of the Ticketmaster website was posted online, meaning briefs with a face value of around £66 were bagged for nothing by fans on Tuesday.
After a second offering of free tickets yesterday fans derided the move as a cynical ploy to fill the 60,000-seat venue ahead of the star’s first Scottish show.
The 53-year-old’s promoter, Live Nation, had expected to declare the gig a sell-out but hundreds of briefs remain available on official ticket sites.
City councillor Alex Lunn spent £125 on tickets for himself and his wife only last Saturday. He said: “I am not happy about paying out for two tickets, only to hear that days later they are then being given away free to other fans.
“Personally I think that it’s an attempt by promoters to fill the venue. Normally there would be no way that I could purchase tickets for this gig just a week before.
“They were over-priced from the outset, putting a lot of unwanted strain on her fans in what are tough financial times. If they had been cheaper, they would have sold out months ago.”
Another gig-goer said: “I’m very disappointing, having parted with my hard-earned money, to hear they are now available for free. It does all seem a little suspect.”
A Twitter user posted a link to free Madonna tickets at lunchtime on Thursday.
Clicking on the link took fans to a section of the website that should only be available to competition winners.
It was possible to select up to two tickets on each visit – all for free.
Live Nation refused to say whether or not the tickets were being deliberately released for free to avoid the embarrassment of empty seats.
A spokeswoman said: “The hidden link customers were able to access was intended for a closed group of competition winners to redeem the limited number of tickets available.
“The link was then posted via a social networking site by one of those winners and other members of the public were able to access them.”
Asked whether those with free tickets could enter the event, she confirmed: “Those that were able to redeem tickets before the allocation ran out do have legitimate tickets and will be able to access the event.”
Following yesterday’s second offering of free tickets, hundreds began appearing on auction website eBay for a lot more than their face value – one pair were being offered for £300.
The ticket fiasco will come as a further blow to the pop diva. Madonna’s Wednesday night performance in London, was branded a flop by critics, with some fans walking out before the show finished.