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Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum opens new interactive exhibit

Find out what it was like to live the festival experience of the 60's and beyond.
Find out what it was like to live the festival experience of the 60's and beyond.
Mark Horning

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum will open Common Ground: The Music Festival Experience on April 25

Fans get to be a part of the exhibit: Vote for Top 10 music festival moments beginning TODAY on

What was it really like to attend Monterey Pop in the Sixties, or Woodstock, or Glastonbury? They say if you remember, " really weren't there". The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is setting out to give you the ultimate festival experience but putting you in the middle of it all.

On April 25, 2014, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum will be opening its latest featured exhibit “Common Ground: The Music Festival Experience”. The exhibit will examine the impact of the music festival on society as more than a concert but as a shared community experience.

Music festivals can mean many things to many people. To some it is the coming together of humanity for a common cause, for others it’s the uniting of a community and for others it is just a chance to see musical artists new and old as the music industry works to promote itself.

Fan vote and fan-curated exhibit

Before the exhibit comes together, fans from around the world will have the chance to vote for the Top 10 rock festival performance moments of all-time by going to Choose from the twenty all time festival performances (from Dylan (1965 Newport) to Oasis (1994 Glastonbury) to Queen (1985 Live Aid) to Janis Joplin (1967 Monterey Pop and more). The vote will close on April 2, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. ET. From the voting, the top ten festival moments will be revealed April 23 at The top ten rock festival moments will be presented in a video montage at the entrance to the exhibit.

As fans around the world experience this year's biggest festivals firsthand and share tagged images of the vibrant and diverse sights that surround them, the Rock Hall will capture and present those moments via large monitors on the fourth floor of the Museum near the entrance of the exhibit.

Exhibit snapshot

The mission of the two floor exhibit at the museum will be to surround visitors with the sights and sounds of a rock festival by using video of past festivals such as Newport, Monterey, Woodstock, Wattstax and more as well as current festivals such as Coachella, Bonnaroo, Glastonbury and more. Part of the “personal festival experience will be several floor to ceiling photos of festival fans to give you “the crowd feeling”. Ambient wounds will also permeate the exhibit such as weather, bands tuning up, people talking, radio ads and news reports. In short, it is hoped that the festival experience will be “a happening”.

The first level of the exhibit will take visitors through a fast-paced history of popular music festivals with large photographs, artifacts and short documentary films including:

• Birth of the Modern Festival (From Spirituals to Swing, the Newport Festivals)

• Youth Quake (Monterey Pop, Woodstock, Isle of Wight)

• Festivals with a Purpose (Live Aid, Wattstax, Soul to Soul)

• Europe (Glastonbury, Roskilde, Fuji Rock, Pink Pop)

• Modern Destination Festival (Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, Coachella)

• Electronic Dance Music (Electric Daisy Carnival, Tomorrowland, Creamfields)

Upon entering the second level, you will be introduced to a “you are there” feeling designed to put you in the center of a festival activities (for us old hippy types this is known as a flashback). The space recreates a performance tent at a festival as a 20 minute film will fast forward through an average day at the festival told through a mish-mash of performances, sounds, words and energy. On the main screen synchronized images and lighting will turn day into night.

About the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc. is the nonprofit organization that exists to educate visitors, fans and scholars from around the world about the history and continuing significance of rock and roll music. It carries out this mission through its operation of a world-class museum that collects, preserves, exhibits and interprets this art form and through its library and archives as well as its educational activities. For more information, visit

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