March 9, 2009


DETROIT, March 9, 2009 — Pop sensation Pussycat Dolls and international superstar Fergie will be among the headliners during three days of free music concerts at The Big Dance®, part of the 2009 NCAA Men’s Final Four weekend in Detroit. The NCAA and the Detroit Local Organizing Committee (DLOC) announced the first part of the musical lineup today for the event, which will take place April 3-5 at The Detroit Riverfront (just east of the Renaissance Center).

The weekend of festivities and free concerts kicks off on Friday, April 3 with the AT&T Block Party, which will announce its blockbuster talent in the coming week.  On Saturday, April 4, Big Dance Saturday will get fans hyped up for the semifinal games that night with performances from the Pussycat Dolls and Gavin DeGraw. On Sunday, April 5, My Coke Fest assumes the main stage with emcee Ryan Seacrest hosting a day featuring Fergie and with musical performers Staind, Gym Class Heroes, Janelle Monáe and Parachute.  

“The Big Dance is living up to its name with a superstar lineup headlining a weekend of music and entertainment for all ages,” said Greg Shaheen, NCAA senior vice president for basketball and business strategies. “Music fans across all genres have a wonderful opportunity to see established stars in concert free of charge. The atmosphere will be electric all weekend long for visitors and local citizens alike.”

In addition to national music, The Big Dance will feature 40 of Detroit’s best local bands performing on two stages.

Schedule for The Big Dance® (all times subject to change):

AT&T Block Party (Friday, April 3 from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.)
Talent to be announced soon.

Big Dance Saturday (Saturday, April 4 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.)
Headlined by Pussy Cat Dolls and also featuring Gavin DeGraw.

Featured acts:
•    The Pussycat Dolls - Their first album PCD achieved worldwide success, debuting at No. 5 on the U.S Billboard 200 Chart, and produced the No. 1 hit "Don't Cha" and Grammy-nominated "Stickwitu.” The Dolls’ 2008 follow up, Doll Domination, included hits “When I Grow Up” and “I Hate This Part.”
•    Gavin DeGraw – In a few short years, this musician has become one of today’s premier singer-songwriters. He’s done it the old-fashioned way – on the merits of his creative abilities, perseverance and a healthy, homegrown perspective. He has established himself as a magnetic voice in popular music and is best known for hit songs, "Chariot,” “In Love With a Girl,” "Follow Through,” and "I Don't Want to Be.”

My Coke Fest™ (Sunday, April 5, 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.)
Emceed by Ryan Seacrest, My Coke Fest will culminate with headliner and popular music diva, Fergie, who will showcase her singular blend of pop, hip hop, and R&B.  First gaining musical fame as vocalist for the Black Eyed Peas, Fergie’s solo debut album, The Dutchess, produced five top 5 singles (two of which, “London Bridge” and “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” went to No. 1) making her just the seventh female artist to achieve that feat.  As part of the Black Eyed Peas, Fergie has contributed to three Grammy Award winning songs, including “Let’s Get it Started.”

Also featured:
•    Staind – Discovered a decade ago by Limp Bizkit lead singer Fred Durst, these heavy metal rock stars have sold more than 15 million records over the past nine years.  Smash hits like “It’s Been a While,” “Fade,” and “Outside” have garnered the band regular radio play and made them a popular live performing group.
•    Gym Class Heroes – The 2007 MTV Music Video Awards winner for Best New Artist, this band mixes elements of rap, rock, R&B, and funk with socially conscious lyrics.  Their hit song, “Cupid’s Chokehold,” peaked at No. 4 on the charts.
•    Janelle Monáe – Recently signed to Sean “Diddy” Combs’ record label, her debut album was released in January.  The album’s first single, “Many Moons,” was nominated for a 2009 Grammy Award in the urban/alternative category.
•    Parachute – An up-and-coming alternative rock band.

More than 15 local restaurants and food operators will be on hand providing additional great flavor for the weekend festivities. In the Coca-Cola Zero area, Coke Zero will be bringing their national Taste The Madness® program to life with fans in Detroit with lots of exciting NCAA March Madness® elements to help fans celebrate their passion for the game.  The Coke Zero area at the Big Dance will feature a video booth for fans to document their Final Four experiences and upload them to Coke Zero's site to be shared with millions of fans across the country.   

Many other exciting events are scheduled to take place throughout the weekend – details can be found at

About the NCAA
The NCAA is a membership-led nonprofit association of colleges and universities committed to supporting academic and athletics opportunities for more than 400,000 student-athletes at more than 1,000 member colleges and universities. Each year, more than 54,000 student-athletes compete in NCAA Championships in Division I, II and III sports. Visit and for more details about the Association, its goals and members and corporate partnerships that help support programs for student-athletes. The NCAA is proud to have the following elite companies as official Corporate Champions—AT&T, Coca-Cola and Pontiac—and the following elite companies as official Corporate Partners—Enterprise, The Hartford, Hershey’s, Lowe's, Sheraton and State Farm.
About The Coca-Cola Company

The Coca-Cola Company is the world’s largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with nearly 500 sparkling and still brands. Along with Coca-Cola, recognized as the world’s most valuable brand, the Company’s portfolio includes 12 other billion dollar brands, including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, POWERADE, Minute Maid and Georgia Coffee. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, juices and juice drinks and ready-to-drink teas and coffees. Through the world’s largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the Company’s beverages at a rate of nearly 1.6 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that protect the environment, conserve resources and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. For more information about our Company, please visit our Web site at

About the 2009 NCAA® Men’s Basketball Championship

The 2009 NCAA® Men’s Final Four® will take place at Ford Field in Detroit April 4 & 6. The Final Four brings together the semifinalists of the single elimination tournament of the top 65 NCAA Division I men’s basketball teams in the country.  The event is expected to create an economic impact of $30 million to $50 million and attract more than 30,000 visitors to Detroit.  For information, visit or call the Detroit Local Organizing Committee at 313-262-2900.

NCAA, Final Four, Hoop City, The Big Dance and March Madness are licensed by or trademarks of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.