The world tour was officially confirmed on May 8, 2008, by Guy Oseary and Arthur Fogel (Live Nation’s Global Touring CEO). Billboard confirmed that the tour was to begin on August 23, 2008 in Cardiff, Wales, with performances throughout the rest of the year. It was titled «Sticky & Sweet Tour» and planned to visit three continents on 50–60 dates.

The tour was produced globally by Live Nation and promoted Madonna’s studio album «Hard Candy» (2008). Billboard also confirmed performances in Europe until the end of September, arenas and stadiums in sixteen markets of North America in October and November, followed by stadiums of Mexico and South America in late November and early December. The tour was described as a «rock driven dancetastic journey».

The show featured four acts: Pimp, a homage to 1920s deco and modern-day gangsta pimp, Old School, portraying early ’80s downtown New York City dance roots with dance culture vibe of that time, including the birth of rap – Gypsy, consisting of Romanian folk music and dance, and lastly Rave, consisting of eastern influences.

On January 30, 2009, it was announced that Madonna had decided to resume the tour in the summer of 2009, with around twenty-five more shows in Europe. The second leg of the tour was to start from London at The O² on July 4, wrapping up two months later in Tel Aviv, Israel. The rest of the dates included stadiums and parks in European markets Madonna had either never played or did not play in several years, according to Fogel. He said : It absolutely has not happened in the four tours I’ve been involved with, [...] There has been talk [of extending] during each one, but it has never come to be. But with this one, she loves the show, she’s had a great time and she’s excited about playing new markets. [...] We went to quite a few markets she has never played or hasn’t been to in 15-plus years. This [extension] is really a continuation of that in the sense of playing new and different markets. 

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