Rock Hall of Fame Annex Opens With Carnival, Debbie Harry

To mark the opening of its New York venue, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation threw a party, entertaining some 2,500 guests with a circus of activities, Debbie Harry, and tours of the new museum.

By Anna Sekula December 3, 2008, 2:10 PM EST

Met with whistles and cheers, Debbie Harry kicked off her set with a rendition of "Call Me."

Photo: Alison Whittington for BizBash

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Annex Opening Party
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Museum openings aren't typically rowdy affairs—at least in New York. But last night, to celebrate the opening of its new local outpost, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame hosted a noisy, crowded party where guests snacked on funnel cakes, tagged bars with graffiti, and head-banged along to some rock 'n' roll tunes. Approximately 2,500 guests (double the expected turnout) toured the new Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Annex before heading upstairs to the main event, a fete produced by Relevent in collaboration with Running Subway Productions and Alison Brod Public Relations. Overseeing the affair for the foundation was Joel Peresman, president and C.E.O. of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation.

In searching for an appropriate venue for the party, the producers happened upon an empty loft space just above the new museum. At 10,000 square feet, the warehouse-like site, with its dusty wooden floors and exposed brick walls, was an ideal place to house a party that needed to feel like a grungy, underground music club. Highlighting this, Relevent added wooden benches and bars, lounge furniture, and a simple stage surrounded by metal lighting trusses.

Even the sponsors for the night took on some sort of rock 'n' roll club motif. Maybelline gave guests smoky eye makeup applications and Garnier's crew styled hair into mohawks and other rocker dos. The rest of the space was filled with carnival-style food stalls serving hamburgers, hot dogs, popcorn, pretzels, and funnel cakes.

Many in attendance moved between the museum and the party space, but at 9 p.m. an excited crowd gathered in front of the stage for the featured performance by Debbie Harry.

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