UPDATE: Daft Punk’s publicist writes in to let us know that the duo is repped by CAA, while ICM was the agency that contacted the National Park Service. So maybe Daft Punk isn’t planning on playing any shows this summer, and god only knows what ICM was hoping to accomplish by applying for the permit.
Daft Punk might be touring this summer. If you take nothing else away from this story, take away that. That is amazing news. If you caught the duo on their 2006 Pyramid Tour, you likely had your mind absolutely shattered. They haven’t toured, or even played a full concert, since then. The prospect of seeing them back onstage again is deeply exciting. But we will not get to see them onstage at one of the coolest possible places we could ever hope to see them: Wyoming’s Devil’s Tower. An Album Of The Year Grammy, it would seem, does not get you whatever you want.
Devil’s Tower is the place where Richard Dreyfuss finally made contact with aliens in Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters Of The Third Kind. During that Pyramid Tour, the duo took the stage to the notes of the piece of music that Dreyfuss used to communicate with the aliens, and that was an instant goosebump moment. Devil’s Tower isn’t just a massively strange tower of rock in the middle of the desert. It’s also a National Park and a sacred site for many different Native American tribes. And that’s the reason that Daft Punk won’t get to perform there.
Rapid City Journal reports that Daft Punk wanted to play at the base of the tower, for a crowd of up to 50,000 people, and they wanted to use lasers to light up the tower itself. The National Park Service denied the request. Park Service spokesman Reed Robinson says the service was basically flummoxed by the request, but they consulted with six different tribes, all of whom agreed that the show would be disrespectful: “Anything that was proposed is a non-starter, is considered an adverse action according to the National Historic Preservation Act, and goes against the Park Service management approach… This being a night skies park and a natural park and a sacred site to 24 different tribes, that would be considered sacrilegious and gets into that ‘inappropriate use.’ And that meant maybe we would have to close portions of the main trail to facilitate this kind of stuff.”
The good news, though is that Robinson claimed that the agency representing the duo “appeared to be scouting locations across the world for a concert or multiple concerts to be held around the summer.” So hey, that’s something!