Here’s a fact: When you visit the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, you and your companions aren’t going to agree on everything. It happens all the time — you enter as friends, you leave as … friends who can’t decide if Pearl Jam is more or less worthy of inclusion than, say, Journey.
No Rock Hall visitor leaves without weighing in on who should and shouldn’t be included in the hall of fame. Elvis? The Beatles? Those are no-brainers. Madonna and Run DMC? Talk amongst yourselves.
In 2018, it was reported that more than 12 million visitors, each with their own favorites and memories (and opinions), have visited the iconic I.M. Pei-designed Rock Hall since its opening in 1995. Back then, music fans were left scratching their heads: Why Cleveland? But our city has a checklist of serious rock bona fides:
- Cleveland DJ Alan Freed is credited with coining the term “rock ‘n’ roll” on his integrated radio show in 1951.
- Cleveland is credited with holding the country’s first official rock ‘n’ roll concert, a 1952 throwdown that would ultimately be shut down for overcrowding and rioting.
- Fourteen years later, the same thing would happen at a legendary Beatles show at Cleveland’s famed Public Hall. That’s just how we roll, here.
- Our legendary radio station WMMS-FM is credited with helping to launch the careers of some of rock’s biggest names, including David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen and Fleetwood Mac — not to mention homegrown talent like Chrissy Hynde and Nine Inch Nails.
What You'll See:
Visitors can expect to see one of the most impressive collections of memorabilia ever assembled — from John Lennon’s guitar to hip-hop pioneer Jam Master Jay’s gold chains. The Rock Hall also showcases a number of temporary, traveling installations throughout the year. Recent exhibits include a tribute to The Beatles' 1970 swan song album "Let It Be" and "Hotter Than July," a photo retrospective of America's most iconic R&B artists by legendary industry photographer Bruce W. Talamon
What Else to Do?
It’s not all history. The Rock Hall offers special concert events all the time, as well as a very popular summertime outdoor concert series. And don’t forget the star-studded induction ceremony and concert. Every other year, the biggest legends of rock history get enshrined into the Hall of Fame on its home turf in Cleveland.
Tip: You don’t need to buy a ticket to visit the gift shop, which sells everything from guitar pick earrings to T-shirts, shot glasses and, of course, music.
Where to Stay?
The minute you set foot in The Land, there’s so much to do it might be hard to figure out where to start. Whether you’re making a pilgrimage to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, enjoying a culinary revelation from one of our world-class dining establishments, catching a Browns Game at FirstEnergy Stadium or a Broadway hit at Playhouse Square, it’s all accessible from Downtown Cleveland.
Check out all of the first-class accommodations available to you in the heart of all Cleveland has to offer.