Without science fiction, David Bowie would still be an obscure folk singer named Davy Jones, and without music, Darth Vader would just be some guy in a silly mask. Celebrate both worlds with the musical–science-fiction double feature of today's Groupon to Experience Music Project|Science Fiction Museum at the Seattle Center, which celebrates its 10th anniversary on June 19. Purchase a Groupon for one of the following membership levels:
- $25 for an individual membership (unlimited free admission for one person plus two single-use guest passes) (a $50 value)
- $30 for a dual membership (unlimited free admission for two people plus two single-use guest passes) (a $65 value)
- $40 for a family membership (unlimited free admission for two named adults and all children under 18 in the household plus four single-use guest passes) (an $85 value)
Family memberships also get discounts to all EMP|SFM summer camps and teen-artist workshops. Checkout the benefits for all membership levels here.
Since opening in the appropriately futuristic year of 2000, the nonprofit has helped more than 4.5 million visitors interactively explore the wild creative abandon and advanced technology of popular music before bitter infighting caused the musical genre to break up in 1970. EMP|SFM’s featured exhibit, Jimi Hendrix: An Evolution of Sound, illustrates Jimi’s legendary career. An upcoming summer exhibit covers the glamorous fashions and continuing influence of the Supremes in pop music, and permanent exhibitions trace the development of the guitar, the Northwest music scene, and more. Interactive installations such as Sound Lab teach budding musicians to play a guitar lick, berate roadies, and mix a platinum record before they take it to the stage in On Stage, where smoke, hot lights, and screaming fans simulate a large arena show while they jam away on drums, guitar, and keyboards.
Sci-fi fans can likewise pay homage to their own heroes—the writers, artists, and filmmakers who got humanity dreaming of bold possible futures filled with hover-everythings. After wandering the Science Fiction Hall of Fame and saluting this year’s inductees—which include special-effects visionary Douglas Trumbull, author Richard Matheson, and the late Octavia E. Butler and Roger Zelazny—head to the Fantastic Voyages exhibit and blissfully geek out among a collection of lightsabers, tricorders, Klingon daggers, the ever-changing fashions of spacesuits, and the greatest spaceships in science fiction. Brush up on the need-to-know basics of science fiction, such as why you should never wear red when accompanying Captain Kirk to a planet’s surface, and the genre’s relationship to culture and science with Homeworlds.
Beyond the exhibits, both halves of the EMP|SFM’s 140,000-square-foot building (designed by Frank Gehry) also host a variety of cool programs, including extended summer hours every first Thursday of the month with live music and drinks, After Hours dance parties for all ages, Sound Off! (the Pacific Northwest’s largest underage battle of the bands), and mind-bending science-fiction and fantasy short film festivals.
- My wife and I have different tastes, but she's a Rock and Roll lover and I'm a sci-fi geek, so this place was awesome for us… the used outfits, such as the space suit used by Spock in star trek the motion picture and the time machine part from Red Dwarf, it was perfect. – djackson, Yahoo! Travel
- The sound booths and the 'jam' areas are fantastic...we had so much fun. It's good for advanced and beginners, much better than stuffy and expensive music lessons! The history of the guitar was amazing as well with everything from steel Hawaiians to stand-up eletric [sic] bass! – Dani, Yahoo! Travel
- I loved all of the music project part--all the interactive instruments, the great metal memorabilia, the cool videos, it was AWESOME. I love it! The sci-fi part was really amazing too. The architecture of this place is very cool, and completely unique. – Sandie S., Yelp
EMP Museum is a tribute to cultural icons as well as a breeding ground for the next generation of musicians and societal shapers. Here, attendees don’t just stand before exhibits that explore Jimi Hendrix and Nirvana but throw down their own musical chops in interactive exhibits such as Sound Lab, where they riff on an electric guitar, bang on drums, and tweak acoustics behind a mixing console. On Stage also gets guests to grip instruments—but under the hot lights of the stage, where they can pretend to entertain legions of fans or accompany their nephew’s birthday party.
The museum also curates rotating exhibits that celebrate modern cultural achievements. These have showcased the impact of Nirvana’s career alongside historic artifacts as diverse as Hendrix's Electric Lady mixing console and Marty's hoverboard from Back to the Future II. As home to the Science Fiction Hall of Fame, the museum also spotlights luminaries such as Ray Bradbury and Steven Spielberg, who have shaped a generation’s imagination while warning people about the perils of suppressing ingenuity, ideas, and viewpoints.
All of the educational programming and special events unfold inside the architectural jewel that is the EMP Museum. Designed by Frank O. Gehry, the building’s 3,000 stainless-steel panels shimmer and seemingly swing through the air. This fluidity, which can alter its appearance depending on the time of day and light conditions, is about “reminding audiences that music and culture is constantly evolving,” as the museum’s website states.
Lower Queen Anne
325 5th Ave N
Seattle, Washington 98109Get Directions