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Madonna to rough it in California desert

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Madonna’s not in the habit of performing at rock festivals. In fact, the Material Girl’s never played any festivals. So it’s understandable that the pop diva’s recent addition to the April 29-30 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in southern California might’ve caused a double take or two.
“I did get a few calls (asking) ‘Are you sure it’s the Madonna?” Paul Tollett, co-founder of Los Angeles-based promoter Goldenvoice, says with a laugh. Not that the Indio, Calif., festival – about 130 miles east of Los Angeles – hasn’t had its share of name-brand acts. Recent years have seen such mainstream bands as Coldplay and the Red Hot Chili Peppers emerge as headliners. This year’s main acts include Tool, Depeche Mode, Franz Ferdinand and Daft Punk. But the inclusion of a top-40 staple like Madonna has set tongues wagging in the indie music world – a fact that page after page of debate on the festival’s Internet message board will attest to.
It’s all a far cry from 1999. That’s the year Tollett and his late partner Rick van Santen raised the curtain on Coachella – and almost brought it down just as quickly. The inaugural festival sold just 38,000 tickets that October and was, as Tollett flatly states, a money loser. “It almost put us out of business,” he recalls. “But we just toughed it out. The next year drew something like 48,000. So we could see that it was growing.”
It was a gamble Tollett and van Santen, who died in December 2003, had been eyeing since 1993 when they promoted a Pearl Jam concert in Indio (current pop. 59,000). Maybe it was the view from the sprawling Empire Polo Field, with its mountain-range backdrop, but as Tollett puts it: “That place was aching for a big festival.”
Now in its seventh year, Coachella saw some 100,000 visitors come through the turnstiles last year. Single-day tickets for the event — which features continuous music across five stages – go for $85, but Tollett estimates that 85% of the tickets sold are of the two-day, $165 variety. Two-day passes mean overnight stays, of course. And with that comes the inevitable problem of accommodations.
With every available hotel room and house for rent booked well in advance, about 10,000 of this year’s attendees will be spending $35 each to camp at a Goldenvoice-operated site adjacent to the festival. It’s a fact that Tollett says is born more of pragmatism than anything else. “We wish there were twice as many hotel rooms,” Tollett says. “Whereas you’ve got festivals like Bonnaroo (outside Nashville) that are more of a full camping experience, (Coachella) is more like . . . there’s no place to stay, so you camp.”
And what kind of music fan will you likely find occupying those tents?
While the age of the average attendee varies, Coachella appeals to “more of a twentysomething crowd,” says Billboard staff writer Todd Martens, a four-year veteran of the festival. “Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo draw more of a hippie crowd. I think Coachella tries to tap into the more musically adventurous.”
source : reuters

Peter Rauhofer on Madonna

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There’s so much afoot in Madonnalandthe release of the limited edition vinyl version of her Confessions On A Dancefloor smash, her April 30 DJ gig at the West Coast alt rock nirvana Coachella, and her “Confessions Tour”? beginning May 21 (with dates at the Garden set for June 28-29)that even though we’d initially dismissed her latest record as more “Grandma’s got up into the eggnog again”? shenanigans designed to sell Motorola cell phones, we thought it might be worth a second listen.
Of her upcoming DJ gig, Madonna says, “I’ve never performed at a festival, and I’m especially excited about playing at Coachella before I start my own tour.”? That’s funny; I seem to recall her at both Live Aids, but whatever. We decided to check in with our own local legend, DJ Peter Rauhofer, fresh off opening last month’s Black Party, to get the skinny on what it’s like to work with a legend.
Rauhofer, who cultivates a reputation as a bit of a diva himself, immediately sets the record straight: “I never work off instructions.”?
“Sometimes people call me and say, “~Wow you remixed Madonna; can you remix my track to sound like what you did with Madonna?’ I only remix stuff I really like and I have an idea for, but I don’t want to copy something for somebody,”? the Grammy-winning mixologist says of his coveted tracks. “They don’t need me for that. They can hire someone else that is copying me.”?
The Austrian native (who now resides in SoHo) also wants to clear up another misconception about DJs who drop more names than tracks. “Believe me, anyone that tells you that the artist calls them, it’s not true at all,”? Rauhofer says. “The artists are not at all involved in that, they have other things to care about. And these days, five different DJs are remixing a cut. Do you think the artist calls up everybody? No way. Really, it’s not a fact. People who say that only say it because they want to feel important.”?
Surely those rules don’t apply to Rauhofer, I mean, look at that picture!
“You maybe meet Madonna or Cher at a concert or a party,”? Rauhofer admits. “You get introduced to them by the record label people, but otherwise the artist never calls you.”?
Someone called Rauhofer on the eve of Dancefloor’s release as Madonna made an appearance at Rauhofer’s now-defunct Roxy Saturday night performing her first single “Hung Up,”? but their relationship goes back much further than this current release.
“The first thing I did for her was “~Nothing Really Matters,'”? Rauhofer explains of the pair’s first remix collaboration. “The funny thing is I did five different mixes because it was my first Madonna mix. I thought, I don’t want to give her one remix. What if she doesn’t like it? Then I’m not getting any remix on the package. So I did five different remixes and said she should choose what she likes. I confused them so much that they released all five remixes because they didn’t know which one was the best. Some mixes were similar, but they were not meant to be. They were supposed to choose, but they just went ahead and released everything, which was funny because on one record I had five different remixes.”?
Given both artists’ reputations for “temperament,”? what happens when Madonna wants a track remixed that Rauhofer isn’t crazy about?
“When you get Madonna, you have to live with it,”? Rauhofer confesses. “You can’t say, “~I don’t like this.’ They’ll think you’re crazy. They believe in it, they release it as the first single, and then the stupid remixer comes along and says, “~I don’t like it, give me another one.’ You can’t do this, you know, it’s Madonna! But the album is great. A lot of people bitch about the new album, but I think it’s excellent. It’s a long-lasting album. All the tracks are very radio friendly. I think the more you listen to it, the more you discover it and the more you like it.”?
source : nypress

We want Madonna

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Madonna fans have been urged to petition the singer to include Australia on her upcoming Confessions world tour.
The pop superstar yesterday launched the US and European legs of her world tour with “additional dates forthcoming”, prompting eager fans to deluge her fan forum with pleas to tour here later this year.
“We are doing everything in our power to encourage Madonna to include Australia on her Confessions tour,” a Warner Music Australia spokeswoman said.
The tour kicks off in the US on May 21 before heading to Europe and Japan. “If I go to Japan I’ll go to Australia, I promise!” Madonna said last year.
Madonna has not played in Australia since 1993.
Molly Meldrum, one of her greatest Australian supporters, last night joined the call saying: “Madonna, your Australian fans are your most loyal and they’ve been waiting a long time to see you.”
source : sundaytimes.news.com.au

At GBP160 a seat, the Material Girl lives up to her nickname

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Madonna is charging British fans up to GBP160 to see her perform this summer. The singer promised to “turn the world into one big dancefloor”? after releasing the first dates for her Confessions world tour.
Just three British dates were revealed but her younger fans will need to start saving pocket money. The cheapest tickets are £80, rising to £160 for the best seats. “All tickets are subject to a booking fee,”? her promoters also reminded fans.
British fans may be paying more than their European counterparts. Top price tickets for her September Amsterdam Arena show were advertised yesterday for €98 (£68).
Madonna has side-stepped the Wembley Stadium chaos by booking two nights at the neighbouring Arena, which reopened last weekend after a £35 million refurbishment. But its new capacity is 10,000 and fans are expected to queue around the block when tickets go on sale at the box office at 9am on Friday for concerts on August 1 and 3. Madonna will also perform at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, on July 30, which has a capacity of 60,000.
The Rolling Stones charged up to £150 for guaranteed pitch-seating on their stadium tour in August. But, as with the Stones, hospitality companies will offer Madonna packages promising the best seats for a figure several times the ticket face value.
Britain is a booming live-music market for the big hitters of rock and pop. However, Billy Joel settled for a £75 top ticket for his Wembley Arena show, the same price as a close-up view of the Eagles at Twickenham. Take That sold out six nights at Wembley Arena for a top price of £35.
Madonna is giving fan club members an chance to buy tickets through her website today and further dates are certain to be announced after the initial batch sells out.
For their £160 tickets, Madonna fans are promised a spectacular show featuring costumes designed by Jean-Paul Gaultier and a selection of her classic hits mixed with material from her recent Confessions on a Dancefloor album.
And, if the pop icon is accused of being greedy, she can claim to have performed a 30-minute free show for 1,000 fans in London last year.
Tickets are available to buy in person at Wembley Arena Box Office and Cardiff International Arena Box Office. Also online at www.getlive.co.uk or from 0871 2305441.
source : timesonline.co.uk

Tickets Presales for Icon members

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Presale tickets for Concerts in US will be available for Members of ‘Icon – Madonna’s Official Fan Club’ at Ticketmaster.com on Tuesday April 4th from 09:00 am.
source : madonnalicius

Tickets for UK Concerts

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Tickets for the London dates (GBP 80, 110 and 160) go on sale on April 7 at 9am while the Cardiff ones are available from April 21 at the same time.
source : nme

Madonna ‘Confessions’ Tour Site launched

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Madonna Confessions Tour Site

‘Confessions’ Tour Dates Announced !

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Madonna will be dancing and singing across the stages of the world this spring and summer, it was announced today. The “Confessions Tour” with concerts across major US cities, Canada, Europe and Japan will begin in Los Angeles on May 21st. “Confessions” tour dates were officially confirmed by Madonna’s managers Angela Becker and Guy Oseary, along with Arthur Fogel, President of The Next Adventure (a Live Nation Company), the tour’s worldwide promoter.

Tour stops in North America for the “Confessions Tour” will include arenas in Chicago, Boston, San Jose, Phoenix, Fresno, Las Vegas, Philadelphia, Atlantic City, Miami, Montreal and New York. Overseas appearances will take place in arenas, stadiums and outdoor venues in Paris, France; Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Cardiff, Wales; Rome, Italy; Dusseldorf and Hannover Germany; Horsens, Denmark; Osaka and Tokyo, Japan.

The “Confessions Tour” will be directed by longtime Madonna collaborator Jamie King with Stuart Price once again on board as Musical Director. Arianne Phillips and Jean Paul Gaultier, long standing members of Madonna’s creative team, will respectively oversee and design costumes for the tour.

Madonna’s previous tour, the 2004 “Re-Invention Tour” was the most successful tour of that year, according to Billboard Magazine.

The Warner Bros. Records mega star, whose current CD “Confessions On A Dance Floor” debuted at No.1 in 29 countries, has already begun rehearsals in Los Angeles with her talented troupe of musicians and dancers. With a staggering 35 No. 1 hits on Billboard’s dance charts during the course of her unparalleled career, it’s no surprise that Madonna issued the following mission statement regarding the “Confessions Tour”: “I’m going to turn the world into one big dance floor,” exhorted the Material Girl.

The multi-Grammy Award winning artist, songwriter, children’s book author, producer and video visionary with an unrivaled reputation for astonishing stage spectacles, has made musical history many times over including International record sales of over 200 million albums.

A cultural innovator of astonishing diversity and enduring appeal, Madonna has defined our era with a sound, style and vision that has inspired countless artists and millions of fans around the globe. In the process, she has pioneered a new model of creative empowerment, overseeing a multi-faceted career that encompasses virtually every aspect of contemporary culture.

Existing Madonna Fan Club Icon Members will receive a special pre-sale opportunity prior to the public sales dates outlined below. Members can check www.madonna.com for complete details.

MADONNA “CONFESSIONS TOUR” DATES

North America:

May 21 Los Angeles Forum
May 27 Las Vegas MGM Grand Garden Arena
May 30 San Jose HP Pavilion
June 5 Fresno Save Mart Center
June 8 Phoenix Glendale Arena
June 14 Chicago United Center
June 21 Montreal Bell Centre
June 25 Hartford Civic Centre
June 28 New York Madison Square Garden
June 29 New York Madison Square Garden
July 06 Boston TD Bank Garden
July 12 Philadelphia Wachovia Center
July 16 Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall
July 22 Miami AmericanAirlines Arena

Europe:

July 30 Cardiff Millennium Stadium
Aug. 1 London Wembley Arena
Aug. 3 London Wembley Arena
Aug. 6 Rome Olympic Stadium
Aug. 20 Dusseldorf LTU Arena
Aug. 22 Hannover Niedersachsen
Aug. 24 Horsens (Denmark) Forum Horsens Outdoor
Aug. 27 Paris Bercy Stadium
Aug. 28 Paris Bercy Stadium
Sept. 3 Amsterdam Arena

-Additional dates forthcoming-

For Official Tour and Fan Club Information, visit: www.confessionstour.com & www.madonna.com

Confessions Tour Poster

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