Beatles Fans to Come Together

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This year marks the 50th anniversary of the one and only Irish appearance of The Beatles, an event arguably second only to Handel’s Fishamble Street premiere of The Messiah in the history of live music in the city.

The band played two sold-out shows on the evening of November 7th 1963, and, to mark the anniversary, The Dublin Beatles Festival will take place from Thursday 7th to Sunday 10th November.

Festival organiser Stephen Kennedy tells NewsFour he’s had a lifelong obsession with the Liverpudlian quartet. In 2010, his play, Lennon V McCartney, was staged at Liverpool’s Beatles Festival, inspiring him to create a similar event in Dublin. “Travelling to Beatles Festivals across Europe, I had met various tribute bands,” he says. “One band, Revolver, from Scotland, impressed me so much I brought them over for two shows in Whelan’s and The Workman’s Club.” When both shows sold out, Kennedy knew there was a huge demand for a Beatles Festival in Dublin.

The Gresham Hotel was home to the band during their brief Dublin visit and this is where the festival will kick off, with the cast of tribute show Get Back performing the exact set of songs heard on that night in 1963.

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Other highlights include an appearance by the surviving line-up of The Quarrymen, the band formed by schoolboy John Lennon in 1956, later boasting Paul McCartney and George Harrison among its members. As well as live music, the festival will feature memorabilia and art displays, plays and a table quiz, all held across a variety of city centre venues.

Local legend has it that, following the Adelphi shows, The Beatles attended a late night party at an address in Ballsbridge. If any of our readers have any further information on this, please get in touch.

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Pictured from top: Festival organiser Stephen Kennedy at Liverpool’s Cavern Club; The Beatles arriving at Dublin Airport; The Beatles, as illustrated by Dublin artist Georgina Flood.

By Eric Hillis