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Rock Hall of Fame details 2021 induction, other plans

By Gary Graff
ggraff@medianewsgroup.com, @GraffonMusic on Twitte

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After going virtual last year, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has altered its annual induction timeline for 2021 but is planning its back to live and in-person.

During a virtual media conference on Friday, Jan. 22, CEO Greg Harris revealed that the Cleveland shrine's nominating committee will be meeting next week and nominees will be announced during early February. Among the acts newly eligible for this ballot are Foo Fighters, Jay-Z, Jewel, Garbage Ben Folds and the Chemical Brothers. Fan voting will be held through April, with inductees announced in May.

The Rock Hall plans an exhibit dedicated to the new inductees to open during early July, with the ceremony slated to take place in Cleveland during late October or early November. A full week of programs is planned around the event as well.

The 2020 induction ceremony was originally slated for the beginning of May, then moved to Nov. 7 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The live ceremony was eventually canceled, with HBO airing a special in its stead to usher in Whitney Houston, the Doobie Brothers, nine inch nails, T. Rex and others.

Harris also announced plans for new exhibits during 2021, among them: "Legends of Rock," spanning four floors dedicated to key events in music history, opening during February; a Super Bowl halftime shows exhibition to coincide with the NFL Draft planned to take place in Cleveland at the end of April; and a display of photographs by the late Baron Wolman, an Ohio native who donated his collection of more than 100,000 images to the museum -- the larges archival donation in the museum's nearly 25-year history, according to Harris.

He detailed some recent acquisitions to the Rock Hall collection, including: a 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle convertible owned by Bruce Springsteen; a Ginger Baker drum kit; the Gucci suit Harry Styles wore while inducting Stevie Nicks and more. "Stuff keeps coming," Harris said. "We are not in pause mode." He also updated plans for the museum's expansion, slated to break ground in 2022 and include a gallery "to accept large-scale traveling exhibits" as well as those created by the Rock Hall itself, a performance space and learning labs.

"We're 25 years old," Harris said. "We've taken and transformed and used our current building to its maximum, and we want to build out and have space." The museum has raised about $70 million towards a $100 million goal, according to Harris.

The museum itself re-opened for visitors for a second time on Jan. 18, after a fall closure. Masks are required and temperatures are being checked, with social distancing measures in place throughout the building. Events, however, are currently planned to take place virtually, including a Black History Month performance by Robert Randolph during February.

"2021 will certainly be better than 2020," Harris said. "We have an active group of visitors coming in. We have plans for our future. "I do feel it's a very bright future for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame."

Web Site: www.rockhall.com

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