It’s no secret that the original Woodstock was one of the most significant musical events of the 20th century. What started as a modest music festival ended up becoming an iconic symbol of the hippie movement with people coming from all over the country to celebrate peace, love, and music.

Since the festival’s origins over 50 years ago, Woodstock has gone on to represent optimism for America. Even though the hippie movement simmered out within the years after the event, it still represents a brand of hope and utopian thinking that still reverberates today.

Though most of the discussion about the original Woodstock in the last 50 years has been by people who weren’t even at the event, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is seeking to give clarity to the events surrounding the iconic festival through a special exhibition. Titled “Woodstock at 50,” the exhibition provides visitors with many stories and artifacts surrounding the formation of the festival, what exactly happened there, and information surrounding the artists who performed there.

What separates “Woodstock at 50” from other retrospectives of the event is the extent of the memorabilia on view, including festival plans, costumes, rare photographs, and even unreleased footage of the iconic event. Examples of memorabilia include Jimi Hendrix’s guitar strap from when he performed the national anthem at the festival. There are also handwritten lyrics to his song “Voodoo Chile (Slight Return),” largely known as the last song the famous guitarist would ever get to play live.

A New Woodstock

One of the unique aspects of the “Woodstock at 50” exhibit is that it does not just focus on the original Woodstock festival. It also contains exhibits and documentation of the Woodstock ’94 festival. Visitors can see the shoes that Billie Joe Armstrong wore during Green Day’s legendary performance at the festival! The end of the exhibit also speaks about the legacy of Woodstock, looking at the influence of the event on music festivals around the world and what it represented in the context of hippie culture in the United States.

Getting to the Exhibition

There are many great options for downtown Cleveland hotels near the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame. One of the most popular is the Hyatt Regency Cleveland at The Arcade, a hotel that ensures that its guests are truly taken care of. Located in The Arcade, a historic Victorian-era shopping center, it offers a truly unique experience to guests. If you want to stay as close as possible to the museum, the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cleveland Downtown is a good choice. Just across from the Hall of Fame, it offers complimentary shuttle service to that and many other downtown Cleveland attractions.

Other Activities

If you’re looking for good food in the surrounding area, you don’t have to worry—Cleveland has many different options available. Right within walking distance in downtown is the Nuevo Modern Mexican & Tequila Bar. This fun hangout spot provides you with some of the area’s best dishes alongside a beautiful view of the Voinovich Bicentennial Park.

If you want to explore another institution in the area, the Great Lakes Science Center is a wonderful place to learn new things! If you’re bringing kids with you, the Great Lakes Science Center can also be a great way to help them get some education in while on vacation!

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