Things at Whistler Medals Plaza are starting to take shape, literally and figuratively. The area has been paved, the sensory wall is being built, the ticket centre is up and running. On Tuesday Olympic organizers finally released the names of 15 headlining acts that will take the stage during the Games, performing as part of the nightly Whistler Victory Ceremonies.
The lineup features a diverse range of artistic styles and genres from across the globe, including Canada's own Feist, Our Lady Peace and Stars. American talents include The Fray, The Roots and Usher, and international acts are Estelle and Jet.
Tickets to all of the performances will be free. They will be distributed through a contest that will be launched in January.
"Celebrations in Whistler will be rockin' for 15 incredible nights during the 2010 Olympic Winter Games with this impressive lineup of top solo artists and bands - all playing outdoors under the stars in honour of the world's best athletes and their triumphs," Christy Nicolay, VANOC's vice president of sport production and victory ceremonies, said in a press release.
The lineup was released to the public during a sold-out Whistler Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Tuesday, where VANOC CEO John Furlong was keynote speaker. Furlong commented that, "just out of loyalty" he would like to see Feist perform, as she made her Olympic debut back in 1988 as one of 1,000 volunteer dancers at the Calgary Olympic Games, an experience that inspired her hit song, 1,2,3,4.
"I'm absolutely positive that every seat in Vancouver will go and I'm pretty sure that every single seat here will be more than taken," Furlong said.
But organizers still have one "big name" act left to confirm for Monday, Dec. 22.
Here's a breakdown of the line-up as it stands now:
Saturday, Feb. 13 - All American Rejects: This four-piece alt-rock, power pop band from Stillwater, Oklahoma is well known for their hits Swing, Swing, It Ends Tonight, Dirty Little Secret and Move Along, but more recently, their single, Gives You Hell has been on high-rotation.
Sunday, Feb. 14 - Estelle: She's a Grammy Award-winning British R&B singer-songwriter and producer responsible for American Boy, which was Number 7 on Rolling Stone's list of the 100 Best Songs of 2008.
Monday, Feb. 15 - Pierre Lapointe: With a classical European sound, this French Canadian singer-songwriter's second album, La forêt des mal-aimés (Forest of the Rejected), debuted at the top of Canadian album charts in 2006, beating out new releases from Prince and Ben Harper.
Tuesday, Feb. 16 - Feist: Canada's pop darling, Leslie Feist, is also a member of the indie rock group Broken Social Scene. You may recognize her song 1,2,3,4, which was featured on an iPod commercial. She was the top winner at the 2008 Juno Awards in Calgary, where she won five awards.