REO Speedwagon Memorabilia displayed at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas

The Farewell Tour Memorabilia Exhibit

With over 3,000 pieces of artist memorabilia; instruments, concert and music video costumes, guitars and personal items from scores of artists and bands, the Hard Rock brand has become synonymous with music and memorabilia. And after 25 years of rockin’ Las Vegas, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas is kicking off a farewell tour of its collection of artist memorabilia. A dedicated exhibit will open on Sept. 27 featuring iconic artist memorabilia not seen in decades so we sat down with Beau Dobney, the artist relations and exhibit coordinator at the Hard Rock Las Vegas to get a first look at what guests and music lovers can expect to see.

HR: Let’s get right into it, tell us about the Farewell tour exhibit.

BD: Without giving too much away, the new collection is really a homage to the Hard Rock Las Vegas. We have about 2,600 square feet of dedicated space that we’re designing to be like a gallery. The sides of the space will have iconic pieces through the musical years and the center landing will showcase Las Vegas’s hometown heroes – the bands that are homegrown like The Killers and Imagine Dragons.

Our goal is to tell the story of this property and the artists that were notable during the property’s time. The Hard Rock Las Vegas opened its doors in 1995 so we’ll have lots of 90s memorabilia from bands who have really come into their own like Nirvana, Nine Inch Nails and Sound Garden.

We’ll also hit the roots with iconic pieces from James Brown, Elvis and The Beatles and then head into the 90s pop with items from Britney Spears and Beyoncé.

With so many iconic pieces in our back museum we wanted to give life to some of the amazing items that have been guests’ favorites, but that haven’t been displayed in decades.

HR: Can you tell us about specific items that people can see in the Farewell Tour exhibit?

BD: That would give too much away! We’re honestly still determining the pieces and the flow and the feel of each piece relative to pieces near it. What I can tell you is that we’re bringing back really iconic memorabilia that hasn’t been seen in decades and the flow of the entire space is going to be really great. You’ll be able to physically walk through the exhibit versus seeing the glass cases on the walls so you’ll be surrounded by some really amazing music memorabilia.

HR: What makes the Hard Rock’s collection of memorabilia special?

BD: We make sure the collection is authentic. For us that means, working closely with the artists and bands to either purchase iconic pieces or have the bands loan pieces to us. Everything that’s behind glass is absolutely real. Our goal is to make fans stop and say, “Oh my god, that’s the thing from the thing!”

While we do have some pretty awesome things on display, what’s special about our collection is also the vibe of the property and the experience we want people to have when they’re here. I’ve been known to wander around the collections, talk to people about the cases of memorabilia and host surprise tours of our magic warehouse, which is the area where we have all our off-display items. People love it. They can’t believe they are touching the guitar of their favorite artist or trying on a jacket. It’s those experiences; the chance to interact with people and talk to them about the music and the artists that makes what I do and the collection that has been curated here so special. 

HR: What goes into preparing for a new exhibit?

BD: A lot! I look at what’s relevant in our market; what people are interested in and what provokes emotions. If we don’t have an item then we go out and see how we can get it. Once we’ve got our collection then it becomes about looking at everything from the lighting – which itself can take a month to perfect – to the placement of each and every piece. I think about how we can be creative and outside of the box with the pieces and I identify ways we can bring the artist or band to life behind a case of glass.

The Farewell Tour Memorabilia Exhibit opens Sept.27 and will be located off the Paradise Road entrance, just before Pink Taco restaurant. Hours will be 11 am to 8 p.m. (dark Tuesdays and Wednesdays and admission is free. If music moves you – live shows, concerts or artist memorabilia itself, you don’t want to miss staying at the Hard Rock &Casino. View Hard Rock Hotel & Casino’s offers and discover deals including discounted rates, property amenities and even hotel and entertainment packages