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Visit Me in CLE Weekend
By John Luteran, Image courtesy of Cleveland Museum of Art
Nothing says Cleveland like tipping back a few cocktails and dancing the night away on the steps of an otherwise dignified and august cultural institution. Pretentiousness? Puh-lease.
Such is the case with Solstice, an annual fundraiser at the opulent Cleveland Museum of Art. World music, thumping DJs, dancing, performers and hundreds of your newest Cleveland BFFs await you at this annual fete, which takes place on the lawn of the beloved cultural institution on the longest day of the year.
If you didn’t know, the Cleveland Museum of Art is one of the most visited museums in the world welcoming 770,000 guests annually, and the fourth richest in the country with a $755 million endowment. It’s known throughout the world for its collection of Asian and Egyptian art and hosts a permanent collection of 61,000 works from artists across the globe. For over a hundred years, it’s been the cultural cornerstone of Cleveland.
So, it’s only natural that they would throw the dopest party of the summer on their front lawn.
Image © Larry E. Highbaugh, Jr.
Solstice is billed as a music festival, which is technically accurate since it features musicians and acts from all corners of the globe over multiple stages on the museum's sprawling campus in University Circle. Be prepared to break a sweat, because you’re going to be dancing through the shortest night summer has to offer along with other artists and performers right beside you.
Like many of the best music festivals, you might come for the music, but be prepared to stay for everything else.
Image © Cody York
Have you ever been to a music festival that offers upscale cuisine prepared by an award-winning chef? If not, you’re about to officially live your best life.
Solstice offers a menu of elevated, but easy-to-eat dishes, prepared by Chef Doug Katz — known for his focus on local ingredients — the creative mind behind the museum's own Provenance Café, as well as the popular east-side restaurant fire food & drink. Any event with his cuisine on the menu is worth the price of admission on its own.
Grab a cocktail, craft beer or wine from the full-service bar to help you get loose for all that dancing we talked about. While you’re at it, grab a water and stay hydrated.
Solstice is kind of like one of those rec center lock-ins where you get to run around the gym all night having fun – but way swankier and with adult beverages. The doors to the museum and its galleries remain open throughout the event, allowing attendees to browse one of the greatest collections of art in the world well into the night. There’s really nothing like it.
Unlike the museum’s permanent gallery and their other signature summer event, Parade the Circle, Solstice isn’t free. This is one of the toughest tickets to get on the Cleveland social calendar and they go fast. Museum members get first dibs, but tickets go on sale to the general public in early May, so stay tuned for upcoming announcements.
Also, you might want to ditch those cargo shorts for the event. This is the Cleveland Museum of Art, after all.
Solstice 2019 returns on June 22 at 8 p.m. at the Cleveland Museum of Art.
Visit Me in CLE Weekend, happening June 21–23, is devoted to residents reconnecting with their out-of-town friends and family right here in Cleveland. It’s all in an effort to help change perceptions about our city. So invite your friends and family from out of town to visit, so they can see there’s more to Cleveland than what they’ve heard. Learn more at VisitMeInCLE.com.