A street festival will celebrate the grand opening of Chattanooga’s Songbirds Guitar Museum, the “premier private collection of rare guitars in the world.”
Advanced tickets are now on sale for museum tours.
Located at the Chattanooga Choo-Choo, the museum will boast the largest private collection of rare vintage guitars anywhere.
A street festival showcasing local entertainment will take place March 11 from noon to 5 p.m. Festivities will be on Station Street between Market Street and Rossville Avenue.
Admission to the festival is free. Already, the musical lineup includes Chattanooga Girls Rock, The Pool (British invasion rock), Drew Sterchi and the Blues Tribe, and The Communicators. All Station Street retailers and restaurants-Stir, Hush Lounge, Terminal Brewhouse, The Comedy Catch and Backstage Bar-will be open during the festival.
Songbirds will be open the entire weekend as part of the grand opening celebrations.
The museum will host “Les Paul-From Start to Finish,” a series of educational seminars featuring Jim Wysocki, a longtime friend of Les Paul. Attendees will be able to get up close and personal with Paul’s personal guitar collection, among others.
Admission is free with the purchase of a museum ticket.
Grammy Award-winning country superstar Vince Gill was named the ambassador for Songbirds Guitar Museum in December. Gill was interviewed by USA Today about the museum in an article released Friday morning.
Gill told USA Today that “without the guitar, I would not have written all these songs . I wouldn’t have played all these shows, and I wouldn’t have done all the things I’ve been able to do.”
Recently, guitarist/songwriter Joe Bonamassa enjoyed a private tour of the museum, calling it “the greatest guitar collection I have ever seen.”
Curator David Davidson said appreciators of music and history will be impressed with the collection.
“The guitars in this collection are some of the finest in the world, and many have never been seen in this format before,” Davidson said. “There is something here for everyone, from rock ‘n’ roll to country to blues to jazz. We’re looking forward to sharing it all with music lovers everywhere.”
General admission tickets are $18.95 for adults, $11.95 for children 5-12 and $15.95 for students, seniors and those with a valid military ID. Family packs are also available.
The all-access pass will be an additional $19.95. The pass allows guests to view the collection’s best and most valuable instruments, ask specific questions about the approximately 1,700 guitars and enjoy a personalized tour of the 7,500-square-foot facility.
Click here for ticketing information.
Updated @ 4:53 p.m.on 2/17/16 to correct a factual error: The street festival is March 11, not March 12, as originally reported.