The entrance of the main Rock Hall exhibit space

About The Rock Hall

About us:


Rock Connects Us. Our mission is clear: To engage, teach and inspire through the power of rock and roll. We share stories of the people, events and songs that shape our world through exhibits, innovative programs and concerts. Join the millions who love it as much as you do. Experience us live or online – Visit or Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@rockhall). Long Live Rock!

History & Overview

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In 1985, when the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation was deciding where to open its physical museum, Cleveland threw its hat into the ring for consideration. Thanks to a groundswell of public support and a $65 million commitment from city officials, the Foundation chose Cleveland as the winning site, over locales such as New York, San Francisco, Memphis and Chicago. Needless to say, the Rock Hall's construction was cooler than most. On June 7, 1993, the Who's Pete Townshend, Chuck Berry, Billy Joel, Sam Phillips, and Ruth Brown (to name a few) attended the Cleveland groundbreaking ceremony, while Jerry Lee Lewis performed a year later when the building was finished off with the placement of one last steel beam.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame threw open its doors on September 2, 1995, and celebrated with a blockbuster benefit concert at nearby Cleveland Municipal Stadium. This marathon show featured once-in-a-lifetime pairings (for example, Chuck Berry's mischievous onstage collaboration with Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band) and performances by greats such as James Brown, Bob Dylan, Jerry Lee Lewis, Aretha Franklin, Johnny Cash and Booker T. and the M.G.s. Besides the Municipal Stadium concert, the Rock Hall's festive opening weekend featured a downtown Cleveland parade and a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by Little Richard and Yoko Ono.

Leadership Team

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The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame leadership team is dedicated to bringing the museum's vision of engage, teach and inspire through the power of rock and roll to life. Click below to access the official leadership bios. 

Economic Impact

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A new study published in March 2018 reveals the Rock Hall had a total impact of $199 million in business sales in Cuyahoga County. Visitors to the Rock Hall spent an estimated $127.4 million in 2017, averaging a daily spend of $349,000, both on-site and at other businesses in the County. This direct spending generated additional benefits through indirect and induced effects.

Rock Hall visitor spending supported 1,872 jobs and $59.9 million in income earned, including indirect and induced benefits. Most of these employment and income benefits came in the food and beverage, recreation, and lodging sectors.

Visitors to the Rock Hall generated nearly $13.4 million in state and local tax revenues. Local revenues included $2.9 million in local sales tax revenues and another $1.2 million in bed tax revenues.

The Rock Hall continues to attract hundreds of thousands of visitors to Cuyahoga County annually and plays a significant role in the regional economy. In 2017, the Rock Hall had a total attendance of nearly 568,000, a 4.6% increase from 2016 and its third record-breaking attendance growth. Of these visitors to the Rock Hall, nearly 81%, came from outside the region and their spending supported employment, income, and local tax revenues in Cuyahoga County.

Additionally, every year, the Rock Hall welcomes thousands of students into the Museum to experience firsthand the power of rock and roll through its award-winning programs. To date, new numbers show that more than 300,000 students have participated in Rock Hall learning programs. The Toddler Rock program powered by PNC has reached 5,000 at-risk youth, who each spent an average of 60 hours learning and saw a 71% increase in letter recognition and comprehension scores. More than $10 million dollars collected from the Rock Hall’s admission taxes have gone directly to the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.

About the study:

Estimates of the economic impact of visitors to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame were based on Rock Hall audited financials, visitor surveys conducted by the Rock Hall and Longwoods International, and local bed tax data available from Destination Cleveland. Total economic impacts were estimated with an IMPLAN input-output model for Cuyahoga County.

About Tourism Economics:

Tourism Economics is an Oxford Economics company with a singular objective: combine an understanding of tourism dynamics with rigorous economics to answer the most important questions facing destinations, developers, and strategic planners. By combining quantitative methods with industry knowledge, Tourism Economics designs custom market strategies, destination recovery plans, tourism forecasting models, tourism policy analysis, and economic impact studies.


About The Foundation

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In 1983, Atlantic Records co-founder/chairman Ahmet Ertegun spearheaded the formation of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation. Ertegun enlisted a group of music industry lifers—including Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner, Bruce Springsteen manager Jon Landau, attorney Suzan Evans, and record executives Seymour Stein and Bob Krasnow—and together the organization set out to celebrate the musicians who founded, changed and revolutionized rock & roll.

The nonprofit Foundation's first goal was establishing the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. In January 1986, the first class of inductees were honored at New York's Waldorf-Astoria Grand Ballroom. A few months later, Cleveland was selected as the permanent home of the brick-and-mortar Rock Hall.

In the ensuing decades, the Foundation has continued its support of the Rock Hall. Each year, its nominating committee gathers to choose the artists comprising the performer category ballot. The Foundation also holds special fundraising events (such as 2009's star-studded 25th anniversary concerts, which helped fund the Rock Hall's first endowment) and provides ongoing funding for capital projects. In fact, it remains the largest single contributing donor to the Rock Hall. 

Community Outreach

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Building Architecture

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Designed by internationally renowned architect I.M. Pei, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is one of Cleveland's most striking (and recognizable) pieces of architecture. The 150,000-square-foot building has a glass-enclosed, double pyramid adjacent to a 162-foot tower, both of which soar above the shores of Lake Erie. Upside-down cars from U2's Zoo TV tour greet visitors in the sun-filled lobby atrium, which often hosts concerts and other special events, while a nosh-worthy café and the museum store offer plenty of dining and shopping options. 

The Rock Hall's exhibition space stretches over 55,000 square feet and seven levels, and features plenty of nooks and crannies filled with multimedia goodies to explore. In the coming years, the building's already-bustling, brick-lined, 65,000 square-foot outdoor plaza will become a community gathering place filled with the sound of frequent live performances. 

Green Initiatives

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At the Rock Hall, being kind to the planet is built into our DNA. Remnants from closed exhibits or old fixtures are sent to a reclamation facility to be reused and recycled, while the building itself has environment-conscious touches such as motion-activated washroom faucets and recycling bins. Rock Hall staff members are also committed to being environmentally friendly—among other things, we sip fair trade coffee from stoneware mugs in the employee kitchen—and our on-site caterers and events professionals also strive to be eco-aware. Plus, we have an ongoing partnership with Baldwin Wallace University's Sustainability Program to make sure we stay on the right track.

In recent years, the Rock Hall has installed more energy-efficient electronics and LEDs in place of standard electric and sodium light bulbs. Opened in 2012, the nearby Library and Archives was also specifically designed with the environment in mind. Both the interior and exterior was constructed using materials from sustainable sources, and the water, heating and cooling systems meet or exceed standards set by the U.S. Green Building Council, which awarded the building with the LEED Silver Certification status.


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Rock Hall employees work hard and play hard. But at heart, we're all music fans eager to share our knowledge and passion with everyone who comes through our doors. Learn about our open jobs.

Annual Reports

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2016-2017 Annual Report

3.93 MB

2015-2016 Annual Report

3.48 MB

The 2015-2016 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Annual Report to the Community

2014-2015 Annual Report

4.82 MB

The 2014-2015 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Annual Report to the Community

2013-2014 Annual Report

3.94 MB

The 2013-2014 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Annual Report to the Community

I felt that the experience was really eye-opening, and I learned a lot about rock & roll from its early days to today. The exhibits were well done and unique, with items from rockstars that are not easily found elsewhere. [The Rock Hall] presented rock music in a way that made me appreciate this genre even more.

TripAdvisor commenter who visited in spring 2016