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Madonna’s long-awaited ‘Celebration’ tour kicked off last weekend, with four shows at London’s O2 Arena before heading out across Europe and North America.
Announced back in January, the initial run of shows had to be rescheduled after Madonna came down with a bacterial infection, but the show finally debuted on Saturday, October 14. “I am excited to explore as many songs as possible in hopes to give my fans the show they have been waiting for,” Madonna said of the upcoming trek in a statement.
According to reports ahead of the show, the gigs will feature 40 songs from across Madonna’s extensive back catalogue but there will be no live band onstage for the first time in her career.
“What we realised is that the original recordings are our stars. Those things can’t be replicated and can’t be recreated, so we decided just to embrace that,” said Madonna musical director Stuart Price in a recent interview, who described it as “a documentary through her vast career”. Support for the entire tour comes from Bob The Drag Queen (aka Caldwell Tidicue).
In a five-star review of opening night, NME wrote: “The whole thing is a thrilling reminder that Madonna isn’t just a pop star, but also a cultural force who genuinely changed the world by chafing against what society expects from women in the public eye. That’s something worth celebrating in the dazzling, dynamic and at times slightly discombobulating way she presents it here. Really, you wouldn’t have her any other way.”
In honour of Madonna’s Celebration tour, we’ve teamed up with viagogo to help you prepare for the iconic run of shows.
Dive into the new mega Madonna biography
Published earlier this week, Madonna: A Rebel Life is the official biography of the pop superstar. Written by Mary Gabriel, the book explores Madonna’s meteoric rise in the early ‘80s but also her wider cultural and social impact. It’s the perfect accompaniment to a show that’ll celebrate Madonna’s impressive forty-year legacy.
Following the release date for her new biography ‘A Rebel Life’ on the 10th October, Madonna fans rushed to buy tickets on viagogo, as the platform noticed a 130% spike in sales compared to average.
Head to Soho and get a new outfit
Fashion has always been a huge part of Madonna’s art and according to Price, the Celebration tour will also make space to highlight iconic looks from her career. “A greatest hit doesn’t have to be a song. It can be a wardrobe, it can be a video, or a statement,” he explained.
Earlier this year, Madonna herself reflected on the impact of fashion, writing “If I think about my journey through music over the last 4 decades— how could I not think about all the incredible clothes I got to wear and all the amazing designers I was lucky enough to work with,” in an Instagram post back in July.
With that in mind, why not head to Soho and find a new outfit for the show.
Plan your post-gig party
While there are plenty of bars at The O2 that’ll keep the party going until the small hours of the morning, there are also several dedicated events planned across London to celebrate Madonna’s Celebration tour, with fan parties and club nights already taking place across the weekend.
If you fancy something a little less physical though, dedicated Madonna podcast Inside The Groove will be recording a special, post-tour episode on October 21 at The George Tavern. “Our team of experts will be discussing all the latest Madge tour news, gossip, line ups, the immaculate set list and so much more. Special Guest to be announced, Plus we’ll end the evening with our now legendary wall-to-wall Madonna disco celebrating the tour set list,” reads the event description. Get more details here.
Get reacquainted with the hits
Madonna has released 14 studio albums, three soundtracks, six live albums and dozens of standalone releases across her career so far. With 40 tracks set to be showcased on the Celebration tour, it’s fair to say the show will be diving a little deeper than the greatest hits. What better time to settle down with her discography, get reacquainted with some deep cuts and remind yourself just how fearless her music still sounds today.
In the UK, Madonna is the second highest-selling female performer of 2023, just after Beyonce – according to viagogo ticket sales. Fans from over 70 countries (71 to be exact) headed to the UK to see the Queen of Pop in action, as fans from the United States, India, Spain and Turkey flew into London this weekend. There are still tickets available on viagogo for Madonna’s UK and international dates. Some lucky fans have snapped up tickets on viagogo for as low as £33 to see her in London.
Fans can buy and sell tickets for Madonna at global marketplace, viagogo here.