Entertainment & Arts

Coldplay to open iTunes festival in the US

Coldplay's Chris Martin
Coldplay will headline a concert at Austin's Moody Theatre on 11 March

Coldplay will play at the opening night of the iTunes festival, taking place in the US for the first time next month.

The event, held in London for the last seven years, will be staged alongside the South by Southwest (SXSW) music showcase in Texas.

Brit nominees London Grammar, Imagine Dragons and Keith Urban are also on the bill for the five-day festival.

Coldplay said it was a "great honour" for the band, adding "we hope everyone has a fantastic time".

Each of five shows at Austin's Moody Theatre, from 11-15 March, will be streamed in full online via iTunes.

An eclectic mix of musical styles have been promised across the five nights, from country legend Willie Nelson to rapper Pitbull.

Further acts will be added to the bill in due course, organisers have said.

Apple executive Eddy Cue said they had struggled to find the right venue to stage a US version of the festival.

He said SXSW, held annually in Austin, has "a great vibe for music, and it's centrally located, so timing-wise it works well to broadcast across the US."

Cue has not ruled out the US festival becoming an annual event along the lines of the UK series of gigs.

"We'll see where it leads us. I can tell you when we did the London one for the first time, we did it for a week in London and look what it's become," he said.

The most recent London event, which took place in September at the Roundhouse, featured Sir Elton John, double Brit winners Arctic Monkeys and Lady Gaga.

Pop star Katy Perry closed the event with a set that included a song about her divorce from Russell Brand.

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