The Rolling Stones Get an Interactive Exhibition ‘Ten Times’ the Size of David Bowie’s

"Exhibitionism" is three years in the making.

The Rolling Stones, by Rankin.

The Rolling Stones’ next world tour will include an unusual venue: instead of playing arenas, the storied rock band will take over London’s Saatchi Gallery with a interactive show called “Exhibitionism.”

Slated to open April 6, 2016, the exhibition has been three years in the works for the Stones. It will feature more than 500 items from the band’s archives, including flamboyant costumes, instruments, posters, video footage, rare sound recordings, and album art, presented in nine themed galleries.

The Rolling Stones.

The Rolling Stones.


“We’ve been thinking about it for quite a long time but wanted it to be just right and on a large scale just like planning our touring concert productions,” frontman Mick Jagger said in a statement. “I think right now it’s an interesting time to do it.”

Jagger is now 71 years old, and the myth around the group is still strong, despite the changes to the band in the past half century. “What once was taken as radical, wanton, even dangerous has become old-school and privileged; tickets for the band’s two shows at the Prudential Center in Newark run $95 to $750 plus fees,” Jon Pareles at the New York Times wrote about their 50th anniversary tour, which made a stop in New Jersey.

Tickets to the exhibition go on sale July 10, and will, thankfully, cost less than the price of a pass to a rock concert: £19 ($30) on weekdays and £21 ($33). After a four-month run in London, the exhibition will hit the road, touring 11 international cities, including New York, Los Angeles, and Tokyo.

Rolling Stones artwork. Photo: "Exhibitionism."

Rolling Stones artwork.
Photo: “Exhibitionism.”

The band picked Saatchi as a venue because of its location in Chelsea, where they got their start, in a flat on Edith Grove shared by Jagger, Keith Richards and former guitarist Brian Jones when they founded the group in 1962.

“The scene was great down the King’s Road in the 1960s. That was where you went to hang out to watch the fashions go by,” recalled guitarist Ronnie Wood in a statement.

The exhibition, of course, will not include Martin Amis’s now-legendary 1976 review from the New Statesman, regarding the band’s first appearance at Earls Court in London, where he refers to Jagger as a “well-put-together, vitamin-packed unit of a human being…”

Virility is still a theme for the group, especially now. A source quoted by the Independent promises that the show is “ten times the size of David Bowie’s V&A exhibition and twenty times bigger than the Elvis show currently at the O2,” and the press release claims “‘Exhibitionism’ will be the largest touring experience of this kind ever to be staged by any artist.”

The Rolling Stones' "Exhibitionism" ad. Photo: "Exhibitionism."

The Rolling Stones’ “Exhibitionism” ad.
Photo: “Exhibitionism.”

The show will cover every facet of the Stones’ career, from the stage design and backstage paraphernalia to band members’ personal diaries. It will also feature their collaborations with other artists, designers, and filmmakers, with work from Alexander McQueen, Andy Warhol, Tom Stoppard, Martin Scorsese, and Shepard Fairey.

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