LIVERPOOL is planning a very special 12 months to mark the biggest popular music phenomenon the world has ever seen.
2012 marks 50 years since The Beatles came together and to celebrate the pivotal anniversary of Liverpool’s favourite sons, there’s a year worth of events taking place across the city.
The city council is joining forces with organisations across Liverpool to put together a programme of activities which pays tribute to four young lads who changed the music scene forever.
The programme so far will be launched at a special event on Friday 24 February, at the venue where it all began - The Cavern Club. The announcement will come just hours after it has been launched at Carnegie Hall in New York during an event aimed at attracting American Beatles aficionados to Liverpool.
Liverpool City Council
• August will see the 20th Mathew Street Music Festival and Fringe which will be a huge celebration of all things Merseybeat. Two of the stages will not only play host to the usual high quality tribute bands, but there will also be a special section for acts influenced by The Beatles.
The Cavern Club
• Saturday with The Beatles – every Saturday throughout 2012 the club’s resident Beatles tribute bands will give special performances in the venue’s Live Lounge.
• Beatles-mania will take over Hulme Hall in Port Sunlight on 18 August, as a musical extravaganza takes place to mark the historic day that Ringo Starr made his debut with The Beatles as their official drummer.
• 19 August marks the 50-year anniversary of the Fab Four’s first gig at The Cavern and the venue will be in full party-mode to celebrate the occasion.
• International Beatles Week (22 – 28 August) will mark the 50th anniversary in style with bands and fans from all over the world descending on the city. Gigs, guest speakers and the world’s biggest Beatles convention will all make this an unforgettable week.
Fab Fifty! – 2.
• For the first time, on 25 August, Port Sunlight Summer Festival is teaming up with International Beatles Week and will see tribute bands take to the outdoor stage to give a Beatles flavour to the event.
The Beatles Story
• To celebrate the release of The Beatles’ first single, a special Love Me Do Weekend will take place at the Albert Dock over the weekend of 5 – 7 October. It will be a weekend of fantastic music and performances, and maybe even a record breaking attempt…
• On Sunday, 9 December, a John Lennon Peace Vigil will take place at the European Peace Monument in its new home near the Echo Arena, marking 32 years since his death.
The Epstein Theatre
• Taking to the stage of the newly refurbished Epstein Theatre (formerly The Neptune) a long awaited theatrical production celebrating the life of Brian Epstein will raise its curtain on 15 November running until 1December. Produced by Bill Elms & Jen Heyes Productions Ltd, EPSTEIN is a one-man play with live music, written by Andrew Sherlock and directed by Jen Heyes.
• The Two of Us: The Lennon and McCartney Songbook will see two very special evenings of songs written by the world’s greatest song writing duo performed by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. Conducted by John Wilson, there will be performances of favourites such as All You Need Is Love, Yesterday and Strawberry Fields by the highly original singer Joe Stilgoe, award-wining jazz singer Claire Martin and Liverpool favourite, actor and vocalist Mark McGann. The show is scripted by writer/director Bob Eaton, author of the Liverpool Everyman’s 1981 hit Lennon, which made a star out of a teenage Mark McGann. Two performances take place on 22 and 23 June at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall
• Liverpool Philharmonic Beatles Weekend will take over the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall from 7 to 9 December:
Friday 7 December – Re-live the sights and sounds of the sixties with the world’s premier Beatles tribute band The Bootleg Beatles and their spectacular two-hour multi-media stage production featuring all the classic Beatles hits. Using film footage of the period and 'with a little help from' their regular brass and string ensemble, the show traces the history of the Fab Four from Liverpool's Cavern Club through Sergeant Pepper to The Apple Rooftop.
Saturday 8 December – A sell-out in 2008 and 2010, The John Lennon Songbook returns by popular demand. The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra will be joined once again by vocalists Joe Stilgoe, Claire Martin and Mark McGann to perform classics such as Imagine, Woman and Ticket to Ride.
Sunday 9 December - See Mark McGann return to Liverpool Philharmonic with his extraordinary portrayal of John Lennon. Lauded by critics and audiences alike, In My Life is a show which traces Lennon’s life, using both Fab Four and solo songs and interspersed with a first person account of a remarkable series of events.
More events are expected to be announced in the near future.
Further details about all the events taking place including times and costs (where applicable) go to www.VisitLiverpool.com/50yearsofthebeatles
What they say:
Liverpool City Council
Leader of Liverpool city council’s, Councillor Joe Anderson, said: “This is a hugely significant year in the history of The Beatles and it’s one Liverpool couldn’t let pass by without a huge celebration.
“We should never underestimate the power of The Beatles to attract visitors to the city, and this year-long celebration will bring even more fans to Liverpool which will bring a much-needed boost to our local economy.
Fab Fifty! – 3.
“I’m delighted the city council has joined forces with lots of organisations to put on an incredible programme of events, with music right at the heart of the tributes.”
The Beatles Story
Jerry Goldman, Managing Director of The Beatles Story, comments: “I am confident that the stunning calendar of events the city has put together to celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Beatles will showcase Liverpool to the USA and the world. We look forward to welcoming thousands of new visitors to our city and promise them all a unique cultural experience as they explore the roots of The Beatles and their enduring influence on the world.”
The Cavern Club
Dave Jones, Director of The Cavern Club, said: "The legacy of The Beatles stretches beyond the timeless appeal of their music, for as well as being a pop legend they were a social and cultural phenomenon. The story of their rise to fame is one of the great chronicles of our time and it began here in Liverpool in 1962."
Bill Elms & Jen Heyes – co—producers of EPSTEIN
“It is an honour for us to produce a new work that recognises Brian Epstein's contribution to popular music and to the success of the most famous band in the world, to be able to stage it at The Epstein Theatre is perfect.”
The Mersey Partnership – Tourist Board for Liverpool City Region
Pam Wilsher, TMP’s Head of Visitor Economy Development, added: “This is an exciting programme of events to attract visitors from across the world through various channels, including the special microsite on VisitLiverpool.com. Fifty years on, The Beatles still continue to be a unique selling point and nowhere else in the world can welcome fans like the band’s very own birthplace. TMP is delighted to be working with partners to promote this very special anniversary.”
Michael Eakin, Chief Executive of Liverpool Philharmonic, said: “As a Liverpool music organisation with our own long and illustrious history, we’re delighted to be playing our part in this special Beatles anniversary, paying our tribute to the four Liverpool lads whose music continues to have an extraordinary impact around the world.”