Fab 50: celebrating 50 years of the Beatles
2012 marks 50 years since the release of Love Me Do, the song that catapulted The Beatles into fame and adoration. Running 22 – 28 August, the International Beatle Week Festival 2012 will celebrate this pivotal anniversary with a schedule of events, live gigs, exhibitions, sightseeing tours and more in the boys’ home town of Liverpool.
Here, VisitEngland joins the Beatlemania and takes a look at some of the nation’s best attractions and events that pay tribute to four young lads who changed the world music scene forever.
Magical Mystery Tour
Step aboard the colourful Magical Mystery Tour bus for a fun and fascinating two-hour tour of the Beatles’ Liverpool. You’ll see all the places associated with John, Paul, George and Ringo as well as locations that inspired some of their most memorable songs – including Penny Lane and Strawberry Field. You’ll be kept entertained along the way by a qualified Beatles Guides and some classic Fab Four tunes.
The Cavern Club
The Beatles played the Cavern Club nearly 300 times, helping it become the most famous live music venue in the world. Today’s Cavern is a thriving live music destination and one of Liverpool’s top tourist attractions. The three venues – the Cavern Club, Cavern Live Lounge and the Cavern Pub – showcase not only the incredible legacy of The Beatles, but also other established artists alongside new up and coming bands. The Cavern Club heads up the International Beatle Week from 22-28 August, which attracts bands from over 20 countries and fans from over 40. Highlights include a Paul McCartney 70th Birthday Tribute at the Philharmonic Hall and the 20th Mathew Street Music Festival, a major annual event with five stages outdoors all over the city.
Buy an adult ticket for the Beatles Magical Mystery Tour and get free general admission to the Cavern Club in the evening on the date of your tour by visiting www.great2012offers.com
The Beatles Childhood Homes Tour (National Trust) – A combined tour of ‘Mendips’ and 20 Forthlin Road
Enjoy the unique experience of a visit to the childhood homes of John Lennon and Sir Paul McCartney. This is your only opportunity to see inside the places where the Beatles composed and rehearsed many of their earliest songs. Imagine walking through the back door into the kitchen where John’s Aunt Mimi would have cooked his tea, or standing in the spot where Lennon and McCartney composed I Saw Her Standing There. This fascinating trip down memory lane provides a real insight into Lennon and McCartney’s humble beginnings.
Tours run Wednesday to Sunday and on Bank Holiday Mondays and last for approximately 2 1/2 hour.
The Beatles Story
The Beatles Story is a unique attraction that takes visitors on an enlightening and atmospheric journey into the life, times and music of the Beatles. See how four young lads from Liverpool were propelled to the dizzy heights of worldwide fame and fortune, becoming the greatest band of all time. The Beatles Story’s Fab 4D experience is an innovative and exciting experience. Based in a state-of-the-art theatre at the Beatles Story Pier Head, it takes you on a groovy trip through the music of the Beatles where you’ll meet all manner of characters as the magic of 4D brings to life the music of the greatest band of all time.
Buy a Beatles Story Ultimate Experience ticket and receive a free Souvenir Guide worth £2.50 and £2.00 off any hot drink at the Starbucks Coffeehouse by visiting www.great2012offers.com
Hard Day’s Night Hotel, Beatles Boutique Hotel Liverpool
A ‘Fab Four’ star Liverpool hotel, the Hard Days Night Hotel is the world’s only Beatles-inspired hotel, combining the highest quality facilities with a truly unique environment. Located at the heart of Liverpool’s ‘Beatles Quarter’ in the magnificent Grade II listed Central Buildings which dates back to 1884, this beautifully-restored hotel is steeped in history. All 110 rooms are individually designed and elegantly furnished with specially-commissioned Beatles-inspired artwork adorning the walls.
Ferry Across The Mersey
There’s no better way to experience Liverpool and Merseyside than from the deck of the world famous Mersey Ferry and the Beatles themselves played on this famous cruise. The Liverpool waterfront is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site so there’s even more reason to take this 50 minute River Explorer Cruise. River Explorer Cruises depart hourly from Pier Head, Liverpool. We recommend combining your cruise with a visit to The Beatles Hidden Gallery. This exhibition presents a series of photos discovered by a photographer in his attic after almost 50 years later. The images show John, Paul, Ringo and George in unguarded moments, rehearsing on stage, and relaxing in their dressing room.
50th Anniversary Concert 50 Years of The Beatles, Liverpool Philharmonic Hall: 27 August 2012
The finale concert of 2012’s International Beatle Week, featuring the cast of the Cavern Club Beatles and Pepperland who will portray the early and late years respectively. A fantastic way to pay tribute to the greatest band of all time in their hometown.
Epstein The Play, Epstein Theatre: 15 Nov – 30 Nov 2012
Brian Epstein was the original manager and the mastermind behind the success of The Beatles. This year sees a brand new play about Liverpool’s favourite sons, in a year that celebrates 50 years since The Beatles came together.
Love Me Do Weekend: 5 October 2012
What better way to celebrate The Beatles than a record breaking sing-a-long to mark the 50th anniversary of their first hit Love Me Do? Thousands are expected to attend this mass participation event at the city’s Albert Dock. Fans of The Fab Four will flock to Liverpool from all over the world to celebrate by becoming world record breakers! Organised by the award-winning Beatles Story attraction and Albert Dock Liverpool, the mass participation event is expected to attract thousands of people to the city – all eager to play their role in creating a moment of Beatle history.
LET IT BE, Prince of Wales Theatre, London: from September 2012
Outside of Liverpool, celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the world’s most successful rock’n’roll band in London’s West End. LET IT BE is a spectacular new theatrical concert jam-packed with over twenty of The Beatles’ greatest hits. Relive The Beatles’ meteoric rise from their humble beginnings in Liverpool’s Cavern Club, through the heights of Beatlemania, to their later studio masterpieces. The show includes early tracks She Loves You and All My Lovin’, as well as global mega-hits Yesterday, Hey Jude, Come Together and, of course, Let It Be. Experience this multimedia-rich electrifying spectacle which takes you back to the magical sixties when all you needed was love, and a little help from your friends!