Last updated: 01:00 PM ET, Thu July 02 2015

Rolling Stones Plan EXHIBITIONISM in London

Destination & Tourism | James Ruggia | July 02, 2015

Rolling Stones Plan EXHIBITIONISM in London

Photo via Twitter

Celebrities and events have been powerful drivers for tourism to London in the past few years with Hollywood, the Royals and the world of big sports usually taking their turn on the end of the hook baited by London & Partners. But even as the world’s top tennis players are vying at Wimbledon (through July 12), London is casting its line with one of Rock and Roll’s top bands.

The Rolling Stones will stage their first major exhibition at London’s Saatchi Gallery next April 6 with a show that will run through Sept. 2016. The show, EXHIBITIONISM, will be spread over nine themed galleries and two floors.

Tickets go on sale next Friday at and it could be a show that sells out before it even opens. From London blues band in the early ’60s to rock and roll saints, the more than 500 Rolling Stones artifacts from the band’s 50-year history will be laid out in formats of art, design, film, video, fashion, performance and rare sound archives.

“While this is about The Rolling Stones, it's not necessarily only just about the members of the band,” said Keith Richards. “It’s also about all the paraphernalia and technology associated with a group like us, and it’s this, as well as the instruments that have passed through our hands over the years, that should make the exhibition really interesting.”

Three years in the making, EXHIBITIONISM will be an interactive tour through the band’s vast artistic oeuvre, and includes original stage designs, dressing room paraphernalia, guitars, instruments, costumes, diaries, correspondence, poster, album cover art and cinematic presentations. There will be elements that include works from such artists as Andy Warhol, Shepard Fairey, Alexander McQueen, Ossie Clark, Tom Stoppard and Martin Scorsese.

According to the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions, museums and galleries throughout the UK saw a 6.09 percent increase in 2014 and an 11.75 percent in London. Blockbuster exhibitions were the big catalysts, the Tate Modern set a record with 5,785,427 visitors thanks largely to the blockbuster Matisse exhibition. With all respect to the great painter, if Henri Matisse draws a crowd like that, what will Mick Jagger do?

Like the Rolling Stones, Rock and Roll has gone from being a cultural guttersnipe to a fully institutionalized art. The process seems to have begun with Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Hard Rock Hotels and Cafes have enjoyed a steady success and the city of Liverpool has seen its famous home town band completely revitalize its tourism. This year the city on the Mersey is expecting 50 cruise ships.

Celebrating its 25th year, The Beatles Story received a record 253,096 visitors from all corners of the world. Since it opened its doors in Liverpool 1990, a total of 4 million guests have visited the attraction, with visitor numbers growing year on year. Now comes the Rolling Stones and EXHIBITIONISM. The plan is for EXHIBITIONISM to visit 11 other cities around the world over a four-year period.

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