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Experience Music Project (EMP) - 58 Reviews - 325 5th Ave. N., Seattle, WA - Museums & Galleries Reviews - Phone (206) 770-2700

Experience Music Project (EMP)

325 5th Ave. N.
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 770-2700

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Experience Music Project (EMP) - Seattle, WA
Experience Music Project (EMP) - Seattle, WA
Experience Music Project (EMP) - Seattle, WA


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EMP is located on the Seattle Center campus , close to the Space Needle. This museum was founded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and designed by Frank Gehry , know for contempo...


I was excited at the idea of EMP, even the building being so far out, but I'm disappointed. It costs too much and there's not enough for children, in my opinion. It is definitely ...

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Editorial Review 10/28/2011

EMP is located on the Seattle Center campus , close to the Space Needle. This museum was founded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and designed by Frank Gehry , know for contemporary architecture. This museum is dedicated to exploration of popular music and science. The museum includes Science Fiction Museum too but has a different entrance. EPM has various exhibits such as guitar gallery, sound and vision etc. The SFM carries star trek memorabilia , definitely a crowd puller. Both the museums are free for public first Thursday of the month. more

Not for small kids and don't bring your camera 5/29/2010

We didn't expect the kids to enjoy/understand the music or sci fi part of it but we thought that they would enjoy the Jim Henson section. Not so much. Just a few characters in a glass box. They had a small stage where they let the adults play with the puppets. (The kids were only allowed to watch) They let you take pictures of the stage but whatever you do, don't stray from that spot. Yup, I got loudly reprimanded! I must have turned off to the side trying to get a picture of my 2 year old running off and took a picture of part of an exhibit. That guy came right up behind me and scared me half out of my wits. "You can take a picture in this direction only!" Hadn't noticed right away but when I got back to the music museum, I saw 2 separate groups being stalked by the "guards" and then get "loudly reprimanded" for taking pictures. Some things you could, some things you can't. I would not come back here again. Paid alot of money for an uncomfortable experience. more

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Great deal running right now for membership 2/25/2007

I'll start off by stating that I was the VP one of the corporate sponsors of the EMP. We didn't get paid anything for having our instrument in the EMP other than some exposure for the company, which most people probably wouldn't recognize even when they got their picture taken with our instrument in one of the exhibits. I always felt that the cost was way too high for this place. $20 for adults, and now an additional $7 if you want to see the sci-fi museum. You can easily spend a whole day at this place. The exhibits are wonderful, and if you're into music as much as my family is, this place will suck you right in. They got rid of the James Brown simulator a while ago (I actually enjoyed that -- I thought that the attraction had great potential for other topics as well, much in the same vein that Disney would be doing with 3D motion, special effects, etc.). The soundlab area is fun for everybody, allowing you to learn new instruments and play. On Stage allows you to play on a "stage" and you get your picture taken -- which you can purchase of course (again, rather expensive). Those drums are sure cool in there ;) Anyways, I got the current Disney family membership for $75 which is good for a year with free unlimited admission for your whole family. Family, being defined as 2 adults and all kids under 18. This also includes the sci-fi museum as well. You also get 2 free EMP/SFM Guest passes as well. Again, I don't get paid anything from the EMP, and don't even get a mention on their corporate website. We just love music, and found that this is a great way to make this experience more affordable. Granted, you'll have to go a couple of times to get your money's worth, but with summer coming up and with a whole year to use the membership, I had to share this with you. It actually paid for itself when we took our family including the 2 grandparents (using the free passes) the first time we used the membership. I have a hard time recommending this place though, for a family outing without some kind of offer like this -- it's just too expensive for an average middle class family. If the EMP is stressing "education" like they are, they really need to be able to make this experience available and affordable to the masses -- not just an elite few. UPDATE (3/15/2007): They just dropped the prices this week to $15 for both EMP and Sci-fi for adults with kids 5-17 $12 and under 5 free! Now THIS is what they needed to do years ago! The Disney deal is still a great deal if you want to go several times -- you also get a T-shirt and a Disney pin and discounts at the store there as well as the restaurant. I just added back the star I took away for a perfect score! more

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Great Idea 5/21/2006

I was excited at the idea of EMP, even the building being so far out, but I'm disappointed. It costs too much and there's not enough for children, in my opinion. It is definitely more enjoyable if you're over the age of 12 and love history and music memorabilia. I think, if they wanted to get the next generation more excited about this area of the arts, they would have made more user friendly, hands-on exhibits where they could create music - even I had a hard time creating any music, and that was my major! more

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EMP 5/12/2006

Let me start by saying that the EMP really isn't worth the insane price of admission. There is no way the typical family could afford to do this very often and that's too bad. Once you get inside there are some neat interactive exhibits and the Jimi Hendrix displays are worth exploring. Not somewhere I'd go more than once. more

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EMP 3/23/2006

Well, I really wanted to like it, but just didn't have time to go through all the music stuff. It feels like this place is much better in terms of seeing performances. Certainly the stages are wonderful and the Jimmy Hendrix stuff is amazing. Still, it is not a place I'd necessarily go to more than once, although I do love music. The theater is actually cool. As an aside, the science fiction museum is definitely a visit only for afictionados, so don't really think you should go there. more

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Experience Music Project - Seattle, WA 3/23/2006

First thing I have to say is the admission price is completely outlandish. Other than that, I really enjoyed the museum! The demonstration booths were fun and I found out that I have no musical ability. Although I would have liked to do the vocals because I enjoy singing (but I'm sure I'm no good at it...) but the wait time was too long. On to the Jimi Hendrix exhibit, which was really interesting. I spent most of my time in there. There is actually a free (wow) little part of the museum which displays costumes worn by various entertainers. I loved the Notorious B.I.G. suit, which is sooo big! If you are going to go, it's really worth it to have an Entertainment Book on hand so you can use the buy one get one free admission coupon. I wish I had bought my Entertainment Book BEFORE I went to EMP! more

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Experience Music Project Museum 3/19/2006

First, let me preface this review by saying that I love rock music, especially during the pyschedelic era. That said, the EMP Museum is like a Disneyland for me. They have extensive collections devoted to Jimi Hendrix and currently, Bob Dylan, including handwritten lyrics, photos, instruments and other memorabilia. There are listening stations and videos playing everywhere, detailing the lives of these artists into minutia. There is also a circular room that has all manner of guitars, ranging from the earliest to most recent versions. Unfortunately, visitors can only look but not touch. Other exhibits include blues, Motown, and hip-hop. I found these less interesting, but most likely due to my personal taste. Actually, the most disappointing area was called the "Northwest Passage," a section that supposedly celebrates homegrown musicians from this part of the country. Many of the groups represented are obscure, one-or-two-hit-wonders. But what I, and I'd imagine most other visitors, sought here was an inside look into the (in)famous Seattle "grunge" movement. However, all I found was a small area that has a few early album covers, random instruments, pop music magazines, etc. Evidence of major bands like Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden and Mudhoney are barely even apparent. But the museum has other highlights. There is much to interact with here, including guitars, keyboards, basses, drums, scratching turntables, all including on-screen tutorials if desired. You can use a soundproof room or even have an onstage experience. Overall, if you are not into rock music, this is probably not the place for you. But if you are, I'd recommend it wholeheartedly as a chance to experience and be inspired by those early "rock-gods" who made it look so cool and easy at the same time. more

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Too Rich for Average Folk 3/19/2006

What a cool place to check out.... if you take out a loan. The EMP is not someplace to go if you have a large family, unless you can to afford $20.00 per adult and $16.00 for kids 7 and up. Excuse me, $19.95 for adults and $15.95 for kids. If you want to see the Science Fiction Museum as well, that will cost you $26.95 per adult and $19.95 children. I think I rather drive down to Anaheim and go to Disneyland. How about if you get a 50% discount if you live in WA. more

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EMP 3/18/2006

For music lovers everywhere, you can't go wrong with this unique site. Located near the Seattle Center, the building is not hard to find. In fact, the architecture stands out. :) Once inside, I was given a headset and explained how to enjoy the facility. The headset was used to provide personalized and interactive learning/entertainment throughout the site. It's quite different. When I took the headsets off for a bit, there was no talking throughout the area. Dead silence. Everyone was enjoying their own exhibit. :) There is a huge collection of guitars in the lobby area in a very unique display. It's easy to spend an entire day here with the theatre, various exhibits, and music history throughout the place. You have to check out the Jimi Hendrix display. Unbelievable. There are interactive exhibits throughout the site that make it really interesting. You can even be part of a rock band performing a live concert! The price appears expensive, but is well worth it once you begin to see all that's there. I could have easily spent two days. more

not impressed! 12/24/2005

I went to EMP last weekend and have being there more than once, it doesn't look very different. It is also quite small compraed to other museums and does not offer enough bang for the buck. There was only one exhibit that was different and that took about 15 minutes to walk through. I won't be back for a while. more

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interesting to say the least. 12/22/2005

ok its way overpriced. but hey its worth going once, just to see whats inside. they do flex and change the exhibits, and you get audio thing to help you on your tour. but really if your not a music fan its not worth going. occasional concerts are rated great cause of the acoustics. perfectly designed. oh and stay out of the ripoff gift shop. nothing unique, can find all of it elsewhere online more

Architectual Stunner 12/8/2005

I was amazed by the design of the EMP, both from the inside and just looking at it from the outside. I'm not much of a music junkie, so I didn't appreciate the exhibits as much as my friends did, but the few things I did understand left me speechless. Admission, like any other famous museum, was a bit pricey, but I think everyone should go inside at least once in their life. more

MUSIC! 12/8/2005

This is a great museum for the music fanatics!!! They have a mural of guitars together and they look fantastic, an array of colors and shapes. I loved their exhibits as they had seattle greats, such as Hendrix. Paul Allen really put some thought into this one, because almost everything is flawless. The structure of the building itself is suppose to be a "shattered" guitar. The prices are a bit steep, but worth it if you love music. It is located in the middle of the seattle center and you won't miss it, it's bright! more

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Must See 11/23/2005

This is a must do activity in Seattle. When you come through the door past the amazing Sky Church" you will be given a hand held tour guide. Complete with music clips, interviews and narration you could spend hours inside the museum learning about the artists portrayed. There is also an interactive studio where you can make your own music, music video or even learn to play an instrument. This place takes the whole day to see properly. Located in the heart of the Seattle Center there is plenty of parking, or jump on the monorail at Westlake and it will take you into EMP. A great activity for the whole family. more

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Hands-on music museum 10/9/2005

I love the EMP. It is a great place to check out on a regular basis because their exhibits change regularly. I have probably gone 2-3 times a year for past couple of years and I have brought many visitors to Seattle there because I believe it is a unique place that Seattle should be proud of. Some of their exhibits (regular and changing) include their Jimi Hendrix room, a history of the Beatles, fashion through the 70's Disco era, and Bob Dylans' American Journey. Probably the most fun part of the museum is the hands on instrument rooms. The EMP probably has about 10 rooms that you can go into and play with various instruments (synthesizers, acoustic and electric guitars, drums, etc.). You and few of your friends can enter the rooms and for 10 minutes you can just jam. The rooms are all sound proof so no one outside can hear you. If you are feeling pretty musical, you can get a cd made of what you play in the room. Pretty cool! Overall, the EMP is a fantastic way to spend a rainy Seattle day. Their restaurant is yummy, and the only con of the whole place is that it is pretty expensive (maybe $20 or something) but it is definitely worth it if you spend some time there. more

Just so-so 10/5/2005

This is definitely not a museum for someone with kids. E.M.P. hypes their interactivity but it is really for Adults only. The price is quite high for the amount of time the average person would spend in the museum (2-3 hours). Big music buffs would probably enjoy the museum more, but the average fan will probably be disappointed. more

Only if You're Really Into Music 9/28/2005

If you are really into music, you will love the Experience Music Project. The museum contains plenty of music memorabilia, primarily from rock stars, but it also includes many interesting exhibits. Kids especially like the room with instruments such as drums, guitars and keyboards that you can try out. And, of course, if the wait times are not too long, you get a chance to go into the little studio with a few friends and jam to your heart's content. more

Interactive and very informative for music buffs 9/16/2005

I brought my out-of-town friend to EMP when he visited and he LOVED it here. We stayed for 5+ hours and still didn’t have enough time to check out the entire place. There is so much history, so many artifacts, and many fun and interactive exhibits that even people not very interested in music will have a little bit of fun at least. The price is kinda steep though, so a city pass of some sort might be a good idea. more

Hits and Sometimes Misses, But a Good Time 8/31/2005

EMP Music Museum is a mixed bag, in my opinion. If you really love rock music, there is lots to see and enjoy. The exhibits on Northwest music in general and Seattle in particular are very good and informative. (How odd that much of the best surf music of the 1960's came out of Tacoma!) There have been interesting and well though out traveling exhibits too, although these appear to be suspended at the moment. The Frank Gehry designed building itself is worth a visit. Love it or hate it, Seattle could use all the interesting architecture we can get. However, $20 admission is way too much for this type of museum. That is twice as much as it costs to see the greatest art and culture in world history in places like the Vatican, Ephesus or most museums in Rome and New York. more
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  • The Appeal
    The Frank Gehry-designed building may be stealing some thunder from the nearby Space Needle, but a rock-and-roll shrine deserves an outrageous look. Inside, you'll find an...

  • 11/2/2006 Provided by Citysearch

Additional information

  • Hours:

    Mon, Wed-Thu 10am-5pm Fri-Sun 10am-6pm
  • Payments:

    Diner's Club, Master Card, Discover, Visa, American Express
  • Neighborhoods:

    Central Business District, Downtown