In 2007, Prince played a record-setting 21-night residency at the O2 arena in London. It was such an epic success that it inspired Michael Jackson to go for 50 nights with This Is It, the run of shows scheduled to begin shortly after his 2009 death. Now, the O2 will be the site of what’s being billed as the “first ever official exhibition” devoted to Prince, featuring “hundreds of never before seen artifacts” from Paisley Park.
“My Name Is Prince: The Official Exhibition” will open on Oct. 27, and — like Prince himself — only stay for 21 days. According to Paisley Park, “fans visiting ‘My Name is Prince’ will have the chance to witness awe-inspiring exhibits including instruments, stage outfits, awards and handwritten song lyrics.”
“This is the first time we’ve taken any items out of Paisley Park,” Prince’s sister Tyka Nelson said in an interview with the Guardian. “I’m so excited to be able to meet the fans and share their Prince stories and give them hugs, and have a cry with them if need be.”
Not all of the items on display will truly be never-before-seen, but it’s certainly true that items like the “Raspberry Beret” cloud suit — which featured in an exhibit at the Mall of America last year — have never traveled beyond Minnesota to go on display. Among the items heading to London, though, are some real obscurities: for example, the vintage bass that Prince bought for his friend and bandmate André Cymone, which later inspired the design of the iconic Cloud guitar seen in Purple Rain.
The exhibit will mark the tenth anniversary of Prince’s O2 run, so will of course include costumes from those shows. Tickets go on sale Friday for £25, or about $32.