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Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum unveils Top 10 music festival performances of all-time

CLEVELAND, April 23, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum has unveiled the Top 10 music festival performances of all-time. This March, fans around the world were given the opportunity to vote for their favorite moments from a list of 20. The fan-curated Top 10 rock festival moments will be presented in a video montage at the entrance of the museum's featured exhibit Common Ground: The Music Festival Experience, which will open on Friday, April 25, 2014.

The Top 10 music festival performances of all-time are:

1 - Jimi Hendrix Experience | Monterey International Pop Music Festival (1967)
A legendary debut as the most incendiary group in rock and roll.

2 - Big Brother and the Holding Company | Monterey International Pop Music Festival (1967)
Power, energy and an awe-struck crowd: meet Janis Joplin.

3 - Queen | Live Aid (1985)
Stealing the show at arguably the greatest live concert ever staged.

4 - Santana | Woodstock Music & Art Fair (1969)
A singular performance that introduced a new sound to rock music.

5 - Bob Dylan | Newport Folk Festival (1965)
Three songs that changed the course of popular music forever.

6 - Otis Redding | Monterey International Pop Music Festival (1967)
A breakthrough performance in the truest sense.

7 - Nine Inch Nails | Woodstock Music & Art Fair (1994)
Catapulted to mainstream with mud, industrial music and a truly mesmerizing moment.

8 - Sly and the Family Stone | Woodstock Music & Art Fair (1969)
Channeling the Woodstock spirit and rewriting the book on performance.

9 - U2 | Live Aid (1985)
An artist creates intimacy in the least intimate circumstances and makes an indelible connection.

10 - Muddy Waters | Newport Jazz Festival (1960)
How the blues was masterfully delivered to a new audience.

Exhibit snapshot

Spanning two floors of the Museum, the exhibit will surround visitors with the sights and sounds of a rock festival to evoke the experience in a visceral way, utilizing video of the iconic festivals of the past (Newport, Monterey, Woodstock, Wattstax and more) and the vibrant, constantly evolving events of the present (Coachella, Bonnaroo, Glastonbury and more), with an emphasis on establishing a "you are there" environment. Several floor to ceiling photographs of festival fans will invite visitors to examine and interpret the fan experience and become a part of the crowd. Ambient sounds will fill the space: weather, bands tuning up, people talking, radio ads and news reports. Visitors will connect with the intangible elements inherent in the festival experience – identifying with a community, participating in a social event and being part of the creative process.

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.

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.

  • 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, Pink Pop)
  • Modern Destination Festival (Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, Coachella)
  • Electronic Dance Music (Electric Daisy Carnival, Tomorrowland, Creamfields)

The second level of the exhibit will present an immersive experience designed to place the visitor squarely into the festival experience. The space will represent a performance tent at a festival and visitors will encounter a 20 minute film representing a fast moving day at a festival told through a cinematic mash-up of performances, sights, sounds, words and communal energy of iconic music festivals from the past seven decades. The main screen will be complimented with synchronized images and lighting that will evoke the feeling of day turning into night.

The Common Ground exhibit will close on January 31, 2015.

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

Video -

SOURCE Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

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