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Wilco and others playing at the Olympics, for free


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Have fun at this stuff Velvet/Phorbesie.

Olympic ‘fun zones' take shape

Party, party, party. And it's free.

Organizers of two city fun zones for the 2010 Winter Olympics stressed that no tickets will be required, as they unveiled their ambitious plans for top-ranked entertainment, live Olympic coverage on huge video screens and nightly fireworks displays during the Games.

Their announcement came a day after those responsible for Molson Canadian Hockey House at the Games said the price of admission to their pavilion could be as high as $500.

"This will be the place to be, and it's all for free," exultant Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson said Wednesday. "No tickets will be required."

Headlining the impressive musical line-up is the edgy, popular band, Wilco, who will perform on the first night of LiveCity Vancouver's public entertainment.

Closing the 17-day show will be one of Canada's favourite bands, Blue Rodeo.

There will be two city celebration sites, one in the heart of the lively Yaletown district at David Lam Park, and the other in downtown Vancouver on a huge parking lot at Cambie and Georgia, close to GM Place.

Other performers include reggae artist Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley, son of the late, great Robert Marley; the Sam Roberts Band; Jully Black, Juno award winner Wintersleep from Halifax; and star aboriginal performer, Crystal Sahawanda.

Yaletown will be focused on more family-oriented festivities, with a number of pavilions surrounding the site, in addition to the live entertainment. It will also be a no-alcohol zone.

LiveCity Downtown will serve wine and beer, with dining facilities, where the Canadian Pavilion will be located. Described as "an urban gathering place" for the Games, live coverage will be broadcast on a giant video screen.

Creative director of LiveCity Vancouver, which will also go on during the Paralympic Games in March, is renowned producer Scott Givens of Fiv Currents, fresh from helping Rio showcase its winning presentation to host the 2016 Summer Games at the Internationally Olympic Congress gathering in Copenhagen.

Mr. Givens' company was also involved in the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics in 2002. He said Vancouver's plans are far more ambitious and on a grander scale than those in the American host city.

Mayor Robertson said total cost of the two live sites, including pavilion expenses, is $18-million, with the city contributing $4-million, the federal government $10-million, and the remainder from corporate sponsors and anticipated revenue.

Both sides will have airport-style security arrangements, a factor particularly necessary, the mayor said, after the experience in Atlanta in 1996, when a bomb exploded at a live site in that Olympic city.

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