NCAA Corporate Champions AT&T, Coca-Cola and Capital One together with the NCAA and Turner Sports, today formally announced Jimmy Buffett, KISS and The Black Keys as the headliners for the 2012 NCAA Big Dance Concert Series, in New Orleans in conjunction with the 2012 NCAA Men’s Final Four. The free, three-day music festival is produced by Turner Sports and the NCAA, and will take place at Woldenberg Park in New Orleans during the 2012 NCAA Men’s Final Four weekend.
The Big Dance Concert Series tips off Friday evening of Final Four weekend, March 30 with KISS headlining the AT&T Block Party. KISS remains one of the most influential bands in the history of rock and roll. As one of America’s top gold-record champions, KISS has released 44 albums and sold more than 90 million albums worldwide. Decades of record-breaking tours around the globe have included high-profile appearances at Super Bowl XXXIII, the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, the Rockin’ The Corps concert dedicated to U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and special guest appearance on the 2009 American Idol finale that boasted 30 million viewers.
“AT&T is excited to kick off the 2012 NCAA Men’s Final Four weekend with AT&T Block Party at the Big Dance and our headlining act KISS,” said Jamie Kerr, director, AT&T Corporate Sponsorships. “This event gives college basketball fans a chance to celebrate this action-packed weekend with a legendary band and allows us to connect our fans directly to their passion for music and sports through our products and services.”
The party will continue into Saturday, March 31 with the Coke Zero™ Countdown, featuring The Black Keys. The Black Keys’ new album, El Camino, released December 6 on Nonesuch Records, debuted at #2 on the Billboard Top 200 and has already been certified RIAA Gold. The duo was featured on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine earlier this year, for the first time (January 19 issue). In celebration of the release, the band have embarked on the first leg of their North American tour this month, featuring sold-out shows at Chicago’s United Center, DC’s Verizon Center, and two nights at New York’s Madison Square Garden followed by a second batch of April dates, including shows at Austin’s Frank Erwin Center and Seattle’s Key Arena. Special guests Arctic Monkeys open on the tour.
2012 will be the most exciting year yet for NCAA March Madness fans with impressive performances both on the court and at the Coke Zero Countdown,” said Sharon Byers, senior vice president, Sports & Entertainment, Coca-Cola North America. “We are excited to partner with the NCAA and Turner Sports this year to give fans more access to great music.”
On Sunday, April 1, the weekend will culminate with featured performer Jimmy Buffett as the finale of the Big Dance Concert Series, headlining the Capital One JamFest. Jimmy Buffett has become a legend of popular culture as the composer of such classic songs as Margaritaville, Come Monday, and Cheeseburger In Paradise. In addition to his nearly 50 records and five best-selling books, his sold-out concert tours are an annual rite for his legions of fans, affectionately known as Parrotheads. His faithful followers will be a part of the festivities again as Jimmy tours across the U.S. with the Coral Refer Band in 2012, bringing summer with him wherever he goes.
“The people of New Orleans will surely make this one of the best Final Four weekends in history,” said Roger Ferguson, vice president, Advertising and Sponsorships at Capital One. “New Orleans has been very good to Capital One over the years and we wanted to show our gratitude by giving the great people of this city a free concert with music legend Jimmy Buffett.”
Additional artists performing at the 2012 NCAA Big Dance Concert Series include special guest Blondie, the Avett Brothers, New Orleans legend Dr. John, the Funky Meters, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Cowboy Mouth and Vintage Trouble. The specific time of each performance and final overall schedule will be available soon at NCAA.com/FinalFour.
Woldenberg Park, site of the 2012 NCAA Big Dance Concert Series, is located in downtown New Orleans and features 20 acres of sprawling green space stretching between the Mississippi River and the historic French Quarter. To complement the free musical performances, attendees will also have the opportunity to enjoy some of the local flavors from New Orleans-based restaurants featured at the Big Dance food market.
The 2011 NCAA Big Dance Concert Series in Houston attracted 140,000 fans over the three-day weekend. Past performers have included Kenny Chesney, Kid Rock, Kings of Leon, LL Cool J and Taylor Swift. The Big Dance Concert Series is an activation extension of the NCAA’s corporate marketing program, which CBS and Turner Sports license and collaborate on as part of a 14-year multi-media agreement with the NCAA.
“The NCAA Big Dance Concert Series has become one of the signature events at the Men’s Final Four as it provides the general public and fans who may not have a game ticket with an opportunity to enjoy the excitement that surrounds Final Four weekend,” said Greg Shaheen, NCAA interim executive vice president for championships and alliances. “Our corporate champions AT&T, Coca-Cola and Capital One, along with Turner Live Events, will bring the free concerts to New Orleans for everyone to enjoy.”
“We are thrilled to have two of the biggest names in music, along with the year’s hottest band headline this festival during Final Four weekend,” said Shea Guinn, senior vice president, Turner Live Events and producer of The Big Dance Concert Series. “The Big Dance Concert Series has grown into one the largest free music festivals in the country, and the event this year in New Orleans is shaping up to be bigger than ever.”
For the latest information about The Big Dance Concert Series and all NCAA Men’s Final Four events and activities, go to NCAA.com/FinalFour.