Nightly Concerts Set For Salt Lake's Olympic Plaza

'N Sync, Barenaked Ladies, Foo Fighters, and Brooks & Dunn are among the 16 acts that will headline the Hallmark Olympic Celebration Series of concerts during the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt

'N Sync, Barenaked Ladies, Foo Fighters, and Brooks & Dunn are among the 16 acts that will headline the Hallmark Olympic Celebration Series of concerts during the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. The series will kick off with the Dave Matthews Band on Feb. 9, a day after the opening ceremonies, and will continue through Feb. 24 with Martina McBride, the day of the closing ceremonies.

Other acts confirmed to headline the free concert series are Creed, Sheryl Crow, Train, Smash Mouth, and Marc Anthony, with several more yet to be announced. The one-hour shows will be held in the Olympic Medals Plaza, which can accommodate approximately 20,000 spectators, according to the SLOC. The site will also host the March 16 closing ceremonies of the 2002 Paralympic Winter Games.

"This is the gold standard of musical entertainment: from country to pop to alternative and Latin," said Salt Lake Organizing Committee (SLOC) president/CEO Mitt Romney. "These are incredible artists and this will be a tremendous party and great fun."

Although the concerts are free, tickets will be required for entry to the plaza. Distribution of the ducats will take place Jan. 10, and Jan. 14-15 at all Smith'sTix locations, beginning at 7 a.m. A limited number of tickets will also be available at Salt Lake City Hallmark Gold Grown stores. The official Olympics Web site will post further information on the ticket distribution process in the coming weeks.

In other Olympic news, Oscar winning composer John Williams has been commissioned to compose the official theme of the winter games, while music for the opening and closing ceremonies will be composed by David Foster, Michael Kame, and Robbie Robertson. Utah natives Kurt Bestor and Sam Cardon, who composed music for the 1988 games in Calgary will also participate.

As previously reported, 'N Sync, Bon Jovi, Christina Aguilera, Charlotte Church, Josh Groban, and Harry Connick Jr. will all take part in the closing ceremonies at the Rice Eccles Olympic Stadium.

Finally, more than 110 ceremonial stops during the ongoing cross-country journey of the Olympic torch will be filled with the voice of Aretha Franklin, who recorded a version of the song "Carry the Flame" specifically for the celebrations. The song was written by George Mason University student Karin Hendrickson and songwriter Brock Walsh, who has penned tracks for Christina Aguilera, Celine Dion, and the Pointer Sisters, among others.

"Carry the Flame" debuted Dec. 4 in Atlanta's Centennial Park at the start of the U.S. torch relay. More than 100 of those who will carry the torch have ties to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S.

Here is the confirmed schedule of Hallmark Olympic Celebration Series performers:

Feb. 9: Dave Matthews Band
Feb. 11: Foo Fighters
Feb. 13: Barenaked Ladies
Feb. 14: Sheryl Crow
Feb. 15: Smash Mouth
Feb. 16: Brooks & Dunn
Feb. 17: Train
Feb. 19: Creed
Feb. 20: Marc Anthony
Feb. 23: 'N Sync
Feb. 24: Martina McBride