Can you believe the infamous Woodstock music festival in New York celebrates its 50th anniversary this year? The Madame Tussauds wax museum at Opry Mills marks the occasion in its own unique way — Waxstock!
Now through the end of September, you and the kids can check out two new-to-Nashville vintage figures: Janis Joplin and Jerry Garcia. They are on display in full immersive settings along with the Jimi Hendrix figure that has already been a part of Madame Tussauds Nashville. Have fun being transported back to 1969 where you can take pictures with the figures from Woodstock. On the walls near the figures, you'll find giant guitar pick-shaped panels offering quotes from each figure's real-life counterpart along with interesting facts (like how Garcia lost part of one of his fingers when he was a child).
"Celebrating music and iconic festivals from all genres and eras of our musical history is what Madame Tussauds is all about," says Kelly Field, general manager of Madame Tussauds Nashville. "We are excited to share the legendary summer of '69 figures of Janis Joplin, Jerry Garcia and Jimi Hendrix in our special tribute to Woodstock," she adds.
THE NASHVILLE CONNECTION
Each of the Waxstock artists have a tie to Music City.
Months after her encore performance at Woodstock, Joplin came to the Nashville Fairground's Coliseum to perform a show on Dec. 16, 1969. The main thing that brought her to Nashville, though, was her desire to meet Kris Kristofferson, whose song "Me and Bobby McGee" she later recorded. Her version of the song became her only number-one single. Well-known for her powerhouse vocals and on-stage charisma, Joplin was posthumously inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1995.
Garcia, of course, is the legendary guitarist/vocalist for The Grateful Dead. Favorite hits include "Touch of Grey," "Dark Star" and "Uncle John's Band." On the first day of Woodstock, the Dead played until midnight with their Haight Ashbury vibe in the midst of facing electrical issues because of flooding on the stage. The Grateful Dead came to Nashville to perform a free concert at Vanderbilt University on Oct. 21, 1972. There's a rumor that some of their equipment was stolen there. It was the band's last free concert outside of San Francisco.
Nashville helped propel electric guitar-playing legend Hendrix to fame. After being stationed with the 101st Airborne at Fort Campbell, Hendrix often played as part of a house band at Del Morocco, a dinner club on Jefferson Street in Nashville. Although he performed a lot in Music City, his most famous performance is by far his epic take on "The Star-Spangled Banner" at Woodstock.
MORE FUN AT MADAME TUSSAUDS
In addition to the Waxstock experience, there are many more wax figures to discover covering many genres, including soul/R&B, pop, heavy metal and country, of course. Among the artists represented are Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Minnie Pearl, Ozzy Osbourne, Diana Ross, Faith Hill, Reba McEntire, Carrie Underwood, Eric Church and others.
Kids are sure to love seeing Alvin, Simon and Theodore (The Chipmunks), and there's a new interactive feature with them. Step up to the classic microphone to belt out out a tune and you'll hear yourself singing like a Chipmunk!
Hours are Mon - Sat 10 a.m. - 9 p.m., Sun 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Through Monday, Sept. 30, you can get $10 admission (plus tax) by using promo code PRWAX when you purchase tickets online (a $14 savings off the walk-up gate price). There's also a $50 Waxstock Fest package. It includes museum admission, a fest pass photo lanyard, Waxstock 8x10 photo and a commemorative T-shirt.
Madame Tussauds is located at 515 Opry Mills Drive, Nashville. For more info, call 615-485-4867 or visit https://www.madametussauds.com/nashville/en/.