February 27, 2014


Daft Punk Blocked From Playing Concert at Native American Sacred Grounds

Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post/Getty Images
Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post/Getty Images

Full-length Daft Punk concerts are a rare thing, so when reports hit that the French robot duo were blocked from playing Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming—the infamous vertical rock featured in Close Encounters of the Third Kind—this summer, fans were understandably disappointed.

But the National Park Service had a very good reason for denying Daft Punk the opportunity to turn Devils Tower into a dance party: The national monument is sacred to dozens of Native American tribes.

The now-nixed concert concept began when ICM, one of the world's largest talent agencies, reached out to Devils Tower, telling the park's superintendent they were "partners" with Daft Punk on this endeavor, although they don't otherwise rep the duo.

Kevin Mazur/WireImage
Kevin Mazur/WireImage

"ICM was very clear that the proposal was Daft Punk [performing in the park] and that they were not the talent agency that represented Daft Punk," Superintendent Reed Robinson tells Fuse. "Because of Devils Tower unique relationship to two dozen American Indian tribes as a sacred site, I set up a consultation meeting in which I asked ICM to give a formal presentation to my senior staff and these tribes."

Although the park's superintendent tells Fuse ICM's proposal was "respectful" and he respects "Daft Punk's M.O.," the concert was immediately rejected after the meeting. "The tribes' consensus was this would pose—and this is a legal term—'an adverse action' according to the National Historic Preservation Act, because it's a sacred site," Robinson says. "That's all I needed to deny the use of Devils Tower in any proposed concert." 

So while Daft Punk will not be performing at the location of a famous, fictitious alien encounter, it seems the robot duo are scouting other places on this rock we call Earth for a summer concert. Fingers crossed it's on our side of the ocean.