Olympic guessing games pose musical challenges

Fri Jan 22, 2010 9:43pm EST
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By Robert Thompson

TORONTO (Billboard) - The Winter Olympic Games are about to make Vancouver, British Columbia, unseasonably hot for the local and international musicians who will join the party -- despite mystery surrounding the final lineup for the February 12-28 event.

The Games' organizers seem determined to crank up the "wow" factor by not revealing the definitive list of artists who are involved until the last minute, while insisting that music industry executives sign nondisclosure agreements about their acts' participation.

That's frustrating for local executives who, while appreciative of the Games' promotional opportunities, can't get much advance marketing done.

Such secrecy extends to the widely rumored -- but still unconfirmed -- choice of singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan's "One Dream" as the Games' theme song. McLachlan's manager Terry McBride says a "really significant" announcement will appear later in January.

Many high-profile Canadian industry figures are understood to be participating in the music component of the Olympics. Bruce Allen, manager of Bryan Adams and Michael Buble, confirms he's one of them but is also bound by a confidentiality agreement.


What has emerged, however, is that the Games will feature nightly performances at its central venue, the 60,000-capacity BC Place stadium, after each day's medals presentation.

Billboard has learned that McLachlan and Nickelback will participate in the opening and closing ceremonies at the BC Place, but there's still no confirmation about which act will play which ceremony.   Continued...

<p>Singer and songwriter Sarah McLachlan poses with members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police on the red carpet during the Juno Awards in Vancouver, British Columbia March 29, 2009. REUTERS/Richard Lam</p>