Music

Madonna Hits LadyLand 2024 to Celebrate NYC Pride 2024

Since debuting in Brooklyn in 2018, LadyLand – a queer music festival organized by New York City nightlife force Ladyfag – has hosted performances by everyone from Eve to Kim Petras to Christina Aguilera to Honey Dijon to Gossip. After several successful years at Brooklyn Mirage, the festival moved to the Under the ‘K’ Bridge Park in 2023, a uniquely NYC locale that – when not hosting fashion-forward queer music fests – is a surprisingly green public park under the Kosciuszko Bridge in an industrial part of Greenpoint.

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Once attendees get over their ‘where the hell am I walking to?’ trepidation, people quickly acclimate to the spacious, easy-to-navigate and visually stunning location. It’s a perfect spot for a Pride Month celebration, and who better to celebrate in 2024 than Madonna, hot off her career-spanning Celebration Tour?

Seven months after bringing that blockbuster trek to Barclays Center, the Queen of Pop returned to Brooklyn on Saturday (June 29) for the second night of LadyLand 2024 (Tinashe and Slayyyter rocked night one) to help close out Pride Month.

There had been rumors that Madonna, who was not on the festival’s bill, would make a surprise appearance at LadyLand before it was officially announced on Instagram on Thursday (June 27). But even after her presence at the fest was confirmed, no one quite knew what was going to happen. Would she come out during Tokischa’s set to perform their “Hung Up on Tokischa” collab, a reworking of her classic 2005 single, while making out with the Dominican rapper, as they did during Pride 2022 at Manhattan’s Terminal 5? Pop up while Arca – who made an onstage cameo during Madonna’s recent Barcelona tour stop – was performing? Spin a tune during the DJ set by Bob the Drag Queen, the Drag Race champ who deftly emceed her Celebration Tour?

Around midnight on the Fist Stage, attendees found out: Madonna was there to judge. Not the audience (though she may have been doing that, too), but a coterie of ballroom performers vogueing down the runway during a segment called the Vogue Ball House Battle that echoed the “Vogue” portion of her recent tour. Madonna, Arca, Bob the Drag Queen, Tokischa and Sevdaliza served as judges on a vogueing competition, flashing 10s for the various houses. And just like on her tour, preteen daughter Estere was there, only this time she gave a pre-vogue DJ set.

“Thank you New York City,” said Madonna after it wrapped. “Without you I am nothing.”

NYC’s Pride March, the city’s premier Pride Month event, takes over Manhattan on Sunday (June 30) in commemoration of the Stonewall Riots that marked the beginning of the modern LGBTQ rights movement.

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