James Brown’s legacy is larger than life. As the story of his world finally heads to the big screen with the upcoming biopic release Get On Up, the preparation for this major event kicks off in a huge way as Universal Pictures begins its epic Get On Up promotional tour. Kicking off at the 18th Annual Black Film Festival (ABFF), the tour will travel to select cities nationwide before the film’s release on August 1.
The Get On Up tour takes fans on a visual experience exhibiting James Brown memorabilia like his infamous cape worn during performances of "Please, Please, Please," a gold open chest jumpsuit, and B&B products that Brown used to style his coiffed hair. The exhibit also features a karaoke station where visitors can sing along and record their voice on a favorite James Brown track. As well as a wall of vinyl records where fans sign and leave messages. There’s a chance to take a photo op in the legend’s cape. And Brown lovers can be like the music soul man and join the never-ending groove of “Can’t Stop the Funk” by recording their moves and uploading them to the site (cantstopthefunk.com), where they’ll be featured in a tribute to James Brown.
During the closing day of ABFF, Get On Up star Chadwick Boseman, who portrays Brown, stopped by the exhibit after a panel discussion moderated by Tamron Hall. The panel included cast members Tika Sumpter, Nelsan Ellis, as well as the film’s director Tate Taylor. While visitors tried to mimic Brown’s sound at the exhibit, Boseman revealed that although his favorite James Brown songs change day by day, his favorite Brown track (as of press time on June 22) was “Lost Someone.”
“Our goal with the Get on Up Tour is to entertain audiences who were directly influenced by James Brown’s life, as well as to demonstrate to a new generation just how impactful he was, and remains, to modern culture,” said Talitha Watkins, Universal Pictures’ Vice President of Multicultural Marketing. “We want to engage fans in a way that authentically honors his legacy while bringing the fun and funk that he brought to global audiences.”
The Get on Up tour will stop at the Essence Festival for its 20th anniversary celebration in New Orleans from July 3-6, before returning to New York City on July 18.