Liverpool Celebrates 50 Years of The Beatles news image

Read this Toronto Star report about this month’s celebration of The Beatles in their hometown of Liverpool, England. The events include a special version of the annual Mathew Street Music Festival (Aug. 29-30), which is billed as “Europe’s largest free music festival.” That description should sound familiar to Lowell Folk Festival people, as in “largest” and “free.” Mathew Street is the address of the famous Cavern music club where The Beatles first played in Liverpool under that name on August 18, 1960. This year’s Festival will include tribute bands from around the world playing every song on every Beatles’ album in a marathon session. Liverpool, after some narrow-minded objections by some local politicians in the late 1970s, is all the way on The Beatles bandwagon these days and reaping benefits for the city. Liverpool has destination sites with exhibits, daily tours of downtown and the neighborhoods, the National Trust-preserved homes of John and Paul in their youth, merchandise in many shops, a theme hotel, bus graphics, the summer festival, Paul McCartney’s “fame school” (Liverpool Institute for the Performing Arts), a master’s degree program in Beatles Studies at Liverpool Hope University (7,000 students), and more. This robust infrastructure of places and programs holds a lesson for Lowell when thinking about our city’s world renowned author.

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