Music Hall of Fame
While the specifics of design,
theme and exhibit space are best left to professionals and will
be determined at a later date, for the purposes of this discussion
it is necessary to express a utopian vision of what the Florida
Music Hall of Fame & Museum might look like, and what it
may (or may not) contain.
Visitors to the facility will
enter the Museum through a grand, high-ceilinged foyer. On one
wall, they'll be greeted by a collage of the most familiar faces
of Florida music: Jimmy Buffett, Ray Charles, the Allman Brothers,
Tom Petty, Gloria Estefan, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Jim Morrison, Stephen
Stills and the like.
On the opposite wall is a "golden
guitar" mosaic, the individual pieces of which are engraved
with the names of the individuals, families, companies, organizations
and foundations that have donated funds and/or exhibit pieces
to the Florida Music Hall of Fame & Museum.
At the far end of the foyer
is the "Box Office," a series of typical concert hall
ticket windows below a '60s-era theater marquee that advertises
"Tonight in Concert," "Coming Soon," or
"Tickets on Sale Now!" In the distance - as if coming
through the doors of that nearby concert hall - approaching
fans can hear an emcee introducing acts and 20-30 seconds of
live music (complete with crowd noise)
then the music
fades to silence.
Visitors purchase their tickets at the Box Office window then
proceed to the Main Gate, where they pass through a traditional
arena turnstile and are greeted inside by an usher (docent),
who personally welcomes each guest and presents them with their
"Backstage Pass" - a lanyard that hangs around the
neck. On the rear of the Backstage Pass is information about
"This Week/This Month in Florida Music History," as
well as a schedule of that day's live music performances, featured
music video showings, special events, etc.
Inside, the museum's static exhibits
are organized by geographical regions of the state rather than
by musical genre, with separate exhibits dedicated to the music
which has emanated from Jacksonville & North Florida; Gainesville
& Central Florida; Orlando & the East Coast; Tampa &
the Gulf Coast; and Miami & the Florida Keys. Within each
themed area visitors will find landmarks and features unique
to the region. The Miami/Florida Keys exhibit, for example,
might include a replica of Jimmy Buffett's original Margaritaville
Café, a working recording studio to represent the chart-busting
Criteria and TK studios based in Miami, etc
addition to the permanent exhibits, space will be set aside
for traveling exhibits on loan from other institutions - the
Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Nashville's Country
Music Hall of Fame, the Fender (guitar) Museum in California,
the Experience Music Project in Seattle and others - as well
as for temporary (or "special") exhibits which the
Florida Music HOF may produce of featured artists or musical
genres. These exhibits will be a means of attracting "repeat"
folks who have previously toured the facility,
but will return to see a special exhibit focusing on an area
of particular interest to them.
The Museum will feature an interactive
children's activity/workshop area, geared toward kids in grades
K-8. A variety of hands-on exhibits will be developed to challenge
students' knowledge of music history, test their instrumental
proficiency, and stimulate their interest in music as both a
hobby and profession.
A pair of "virtual
reality" booths will be developed for the enjoyment of
adults and kids alike
one offering participants the ability
to "cut a CD" in a mock recording studio, the other
giving them an opportunity to "strut their stuff"
onstage in a digitally-created concert setting, complete with
10,000 screaming fans in their face.
Also included in the design
of the facility will be a restaurant/nightclub, featuring "Florribean"
cuisine and nightly live music performed exclusively by Florida-based
musicians. The restaurant will have a historical theme (a la
Skipper's Smokehouse in Tampa or Sloppy Joes's in Key West,)
and will be equipped to handle live audio and video recordings,
as well as weekly "Live at the Hall of Fame" broadcasts
to be aired on radio and public television stations through
the state of Florida.
and meeting spaces will be designed into the layout of the Museum,
to accommodate private parties, banquets, receptions, meetings,
organizational functions and a host of special events. It is
anticipated that the Museum will be a popular location for public
and private after-hours functions, and that this can provide
an outstanding auxiliary income stream to support the Hall's
One such gathering space
will be the actual Hall of Fame itself, where each of the individuals,
acts, performers, producers and record industry executives who've
been inducted will be enshrined with a display which documents
their achievements in - and contributions to - the American
and international music industries.
Part of the educational
component of the Florida Music Hall of Fame & Museum will
be the establishment of the state's official Music Library and
Archives, to be maintained by-and-for the people of Florida.
This multi-media library - consisting of audio and video recordings,
printed materials and music-related artwork - would be housed
at the Hall, and available to the public 24-hours a day via
Finally, in an effort to
keep the music of the Sunshine State "alive" - while
also promoting the next generation of Florida musicians - the
Museum will be home to the state's largest and most comprehensive
"record store," stocked chock-full of CDs, DVDs and
cassettes produced by Florida-based performing artists.
Any recording artist with
legitimate ties to the state of Florida will be offered an opportunity
to sell his or her music at the store, along with the full range
of music paraphernalia - fan magazines, newsletters, bumper
stickers, books, t-shirts, ball caps, posters, autographed pictures.
You name it
if it has something to do with Florida music,
you'll find it at the Old Florida Record Store.
With all of that said
this is just the starting point. What the public - and
the music industry - wants from the Florida Music Hall of Fame
& Museum is what really matters. And through a series of
focus group meetings and ongoing research, we hope to develop
a concept that will bring music lovers from across the state
of Florida - and the world - together time and time again, to
enjoy, honor and celebrate the tremendous contributions that
Floridians have made to the world of music. Kevin O. Gartland,