Just weeks after announcing that she is planning a scaled-down U.S. tour, Madonna has signed on to play her first-ever festival date. The singer will set up under the big top at this year's Coachella festival in Indio, California, to perform a set with her band in the massive DJ-heavy Sahara Tent on April 30.
"I've never performed at a festival," Madonna said in a press release announcing the rare gig. "And I'm especially excited about playing at Coachella before I start my own tour."
It's an unexpected move for the pioneering festival, which has booked everyone from hardcore dance/electronic acts Fatboy Slim and Kraftwerk to the Chemical Brothers and Prodigy as headliners in the Sahara Tent in the past, but never an international pop star on the level of Madonna. But that's kind of the point, according to Goldenvoice's Paul Tollette, the show's promoter.
"I love things you don't see all the time," Tollette said. "And we're always trying to make it so it's something you don't see anywhere else." The booking of Madonna adds to a lineup that Tollette said is already packed with some rare treats, including the first-ever major festival appearance in the U.S. by headliners Depeche Mode, the first U.S. gig in nine years from Daft Punk and the first trip to the States in eight years for pioneering trip-hoppers Massive Attack (see "Tool And Franz Ferdinand Will Rock Coachella").
Madonna's appearance will be a warm-up of sorts for her upcoming summer tour, which she has said will be a more intimate affair than her past extravaganzas (see "Madonna To Hit Small Venues For 'Intimate' Confessions Tour").
For an in-depth look at Confessions on a Dance Floor, check out the feature "Madonna: Dancing Queen"