Rock and Roll Hall of Fame museum set for June reopening
The goal is to operate the museum at about 50% capacity, and to reopen with shorter hours — 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. — to allow for extra cleaning and disinfecting. Certain hours will be reserved for at-risk populations, including seniors and people with chronic conditions..
The coronavirus didn’t stop the music, but it did shut down the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame museum to visitors.
That will change soon. The Cleveland museum plans to reopen as soon as June 15, Rock Hall President and CEO Greg Harris told USA TODAY on Wednesday.
Harris said the museum would create a safe environment, but not a sterile one.
“We need to keep the DNA of rock and roll,” he said.
Nearly 600,000 visitors annually pass through the doors of the museum, which opened in September 1995. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s been closed since March 14.
When the museum reopens, the visitor experience will be different. Harris said all tickets will be digital, and visitors will register for a time slot to enter the museum.
At the entrance, visitors will go to a tented area where nurses will take their temperature. Visitors will be scanned in to enter, and will be required to wear face coverings.
Employees will wear masks, as well. Hand sanitizer will be available, and museum staff will wipe down surfaces frequently. All touch screens will be covered, and interactive exhibits, such as one where visitors can play musical instruments, will remain closed.
Visitor traffic through the museum will move in one direction. The cafe and gift shop will be open following state guidelines for social distancing.
“We want to provide an environment that is safe as possible,” Harris said.
Harris said an infectious disease specialist from the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic will be on site.
The goal is to operate the museum at about 50% capacity, Harris said. The museum will reopen with shorter hours — 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. — to allow for extra cleaning and disinfecting. Certain hours will be reserved for at-risk populations, including seniors and people with chronic conditions.
Harris said the facility is keeping a close eye on museums in the region and nationwide, and he’s been in contact with Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine.
“We’re going to be very measured as we start,” Harris said.
While digital tickets are not currently available to purchase, Harris said he expects to announce when they’ll go on sale by June 1.
Harris said he hopes to bring back food trucks and beer gardens to the museum’s plaza. Live music will resume, though initially with soloists instead of bands.
There will also be a day reserved just for medical professionals and emergency personnel who have been on the front lines of the coronavirus response.
Some of the museum’s employees will continue to work remotely, and others who were furloughed will be called back as they’re needed. Harris said he continued to pay for health insurance for the furloughed employees.
As for the 2020 Hall of Fame induction ceremony, rescheduled for Nov. 7, Harris said no determination has been made about how the event will proceed.
“We’re holding the date,” he said.
The Doobie Brothers, Whitney Houston, Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode, The Notorious B.I.G. and T. Rex are among this year’s inductees.
A lot will depend on how large-attendance gatherings such as sports events and concerts will be handled in the coming months, Harris said.
Harris calls the Rock Hall “the most powerful museum in the entire world” because visitors come to it with a reservoir of memories connected to what’s in the building.
That could be a first love, a breakup or a memorable concert.
“It all comes out through the triggers in our museum,” he said. “Our goal is to deliver that same experience when we’re adhering to all these health and safety protocols.”
Read more at usatoday.com