The Fest for Beatles Fans
|The Fest for Beatles Fans|
|Frequency||Twice per year|
|Location(s)||New York Metro area, Chicago|
The Fest for Beatles Fans (previously known as Beatlefest) is a twice-annual, three-day festival that honors the lasting legacy of the Beatles. The festival takes place in the New York metropolitan area, ordinarily in March or April, and in Chicago, Illinois, each August. Running Friday through Sunday, the Fest features special guests, live concerts, exhibits, art contests, a Beatles marketplace, a sound-alike contest, a Battle of the Beatles Bands, and more.
|Cover of Rolling Stone, October 24, 1974|
The Fest for Beatles Fans began in 1974 after founder Mark Lapidos ran the idea by John Lennon during an encounter at the Pierre Hotel in New York City. Lapidos asked Lennon for permission, to which Lennon replied, "I’m all for it! I’m a Beatles fan too!"
The first Fest, titled Beatlefest '74, took place over the weekend of 14–15 September 1974 at the Commodore Hotel in New York City. Over 8,000 Beatles fans attended. The event was supported by BBC TV and Apple Corps in London; both organisations supplied archive films and promotional clips, some of which had never been seen in the US. Each Beatle donated an item to be auctioned off for charity – guitars from Lennon and Paul McCartney, a table from George Harrison, and autographed drumsticks from Ringo Starr. Lennon considered attending, but decided not to because he was nervous about the crowd. May Pang, his girlfriend at the time, went in his place, with instructions to buy any interesting-looking memorabilia. Melody Maker journalist Chris Charlesworth helped Pang select items. Beatlefest '74 was recognized on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.
Since its inception in 1974, the Fest has taken place every year in the New York Metropolitan area. It has taken place in Chicago, Illinois, every year since 1977. The Fest has also taken place in Atlanta, Boston, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Orlando, Philadelphia and San Francisco.
Lapidos' 1977 application for a registered trademark on Beatlesfest was granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office in 1979 but challenged by Apple Corps in 1997 and ceded by Lapidos in 2002, since when the name The Fest for Beatles Fans has been used.
Events and activities
Among the events and activities at the Fest for Beatles Fans are nightly concerts by Beatles tribute band Liverpool, appearances and performances by various musical guests, photo exhibits, a Beatles museum and art contest, a Beatles sound-alike contest, the Battle of the Beatles Bands, panels and discussions with authors and Beatles experts, movie screenings, live auctions, puppet shows, and a Beatles marketplace. In 2014, the Fest included a bus trip to JFK Airport to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Beatles arrival in America.
Since its inception in 1974, the Fest has hosted hundreds of special guests, including:
- Randy Bachman, Canadian musician and founder of The Guess Who and Bachman–Turner Overdrive
- Pete Best, drummer for the Beatles before being replaced by Ringo Starr
- Blac Rabbit, American psychedelic rock band who gained popularity covering Beatles music
- Glen Burtnik, performed with Beatlemania, Styx and the Orchestra; performs in Fest house band Liverpool
- Howie Casey, saxophonist for Tony Sheridan's Beat Brothers, Liverpool band Howie Casey & the Seniors, and Wings
- Chad & Jeremy, 1960s English folk rock duo
- Jon Cobert, Grammy Award-nominated pianist who performed with John Lennon
- Spencer Davis, leader and guitarist for the Spencer Davis Group
- Micky Dolenz, drummer and lead singer for the Monkees
- Donovan, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer
- Richie Havens, singer, guitarist, songwriter
- Greg Hawkes, keyboardist for the Cars, played keyboards for McCartney
- Steve Holley, Laurence Juber, Denny Laine, Henry McCullough, and Denny Seiwell – former members of Paul McCartney & Wings
- Jim Horn, saxophonist/flutist on solo recordings by all four Beatles
- Brett Hudson, vocalist, guitarist and bassist for the Hudson Brothers
- Mark Hudson, member of the Hudson Brothers, Ringo Starr's producer for ten years
- Neil Innes, musician for Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, Monty Python and The Rutles, performed at the Concert for George
- Billy J. Kramer, 1960s pop singer who recorded several Lennon–McCartney songs
- Jackie Lomax, vocalist/guitarist for the Undertakers, original artist for Apple Records
- Gerry Marsden, leader of the British Merseybeat band, Gerry and the Pacemakers
- Mike McCartney, vocalist/writer for The Scaffold as Mike McGear, Paul McCartney's younger brother
- Delbert McClinton, singer/songwriter, taught John Lennon how to play blues harmonica
- Robbie McIntosh, guitarist for the Pretenders and the Paul McCartney backing band
- Joey Molland, Mike Gibbins, guitarist and drummer for Apple Records band Badfinger
- Chris Montez, singer/musician, toured with the Beatles
- Harry Nilsson, singer-songwriter who was close with John Lennon and Ringo Starr. In 1982, Nilsson released an exclusive limited-edition single called "With a Bullet" at Beatlefest to raise money for gun control.
- Peter Noone, lead singer of Herman's Hermits
- Roy Orbison Jr., American musician and record producer
- David Peel, singer and Apple Records recording artist
- Mike Pender, founding member and lead vocalist for the Searchers
- Peter and Gordon (Peter Asher and Gordon Waller), who performed at Fest conventions together and separately
- Billy Preston, keyboardist who appeared on several Beatles tracks in the late 1960s
- The Quarrymen, a British skiffle/rock and roll group formed by Lennon which eventually evolved into the Beatles
- Mark Rivera, saxophonist who played with Lennon and toured with Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band
- Tom Scott, saxophonist on solo recordings by Harrison, Starr and McCartney
- Tony Sheridan, singer-songwriter and guitarist who was an early collaborator with the Beatles
- Earl Slick, guitarist for New York Dolls, Phantom, Rocker & Slick, Silver Condor; sideman for the John Lennon and David Bowie "Fame" sessions
- The Smithereens, American rock band influenced by the Beatles who released two albums of Beatles covers
- Ronnie Spector, singer and former member of the Ronettes
- Hamish Stuart, guitarist for Average White Band and the Paul McCartney backing band
- Terry Sylvester, English guitarist/singer with The Escorts, The Swinging Blue Jeans and The Hollies
- Doris Troy, singer and Apple Records recording artist
- Lon & Derrek Van Eaton, singers/guitarists and brothers, Apple Records recording artists
- Klaus Voormann, met the Beatles in Hamburg in the early 1960s, designed the cover of Revolver, and played bass with Lennon as part of the Plastic Ono Band
- Alan White, drummer for John Lennon, George Harrison and Yes
- Andy White, drummer on "Love Me Do"
- Gary Wright, recorded with George Harrison and Ringo Starr, toured with the All-Starr Band
- Roy Young, piano player, Tony Sheridan's Beat Brothers, Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers, Roy Young Band
- Nancy Lee Andrews, former international model turned photographer, formerly engaged to Ringo Starr
- Tony Barrow, Beatles press officer who coined the phrase "The Fab Four"
- Sid Bernstein, booked The Beatles at Carnegie Hall and Shea Stadium
- Pattie Boyd, the former wife of George Harrison and Eric Clapton
- Al Brodax, producer of The Beatles TV series and the Yellow Submarine film
- Chris Carter, Los Angeles-based disc jockey who hosts Breakfast with the Beatles
- Alan Clayson, pop music historian who wrote a book on each Beatle
- Ray Coleman, biographer of Lennon and McCartney
- Ken Dashow, disc jockey at New York City's WAXQ "Q104.3" classic rock radio, Fest MC
- Jack Douglas, Grammy Award-winning record producer for Double Fantasy
- Geoff Emerick, engineer for the Beatles 1966–69, producer for Paul McCartney
- Bob Eubanks, before gaining fame as the host of The Newlywed Game, was a DJ who produced The Beatles performances at the Hollywood Bowl
- Prudence Farrow, author and film producer, subject of the Beatles song "Dear Prudence"
- Robert Freeman, photographer for four Beatles album covers
- Bob Gruen, photo–journalist and author
- Terri Hemmert, Chicago DJ at WXRT-FM, Fest MC in Chicago since 1978
- Larry Kane, Philadelphia television news anchor, the only American journalist to accompany the Beatles on their 1964–1965 American tours
- Astrid Kirchherr, met the Beatles in Hamburg in the early 1960s, took early photographs of the group, and dated former bassist Stuart Sutcliffe
- Martin Lewis, Beatles historian, Fest MC for over 20 years
- Cynthia Lennon, John Lennon's first wife
- Mark Lewisohn, Beatles historian and author
- Ken Mansfield, former manager of Apple Records
- Bruce Morrow, American radio personality known to many listeners as Cousin Brucie
- Jack Oliver, former President of Apple Records (1969-1971)
- May Pang attended the first Beatlefest where she purchased a photograph that became the cover of Lennon's Rock 'n' Roll album
- Alan Parsons, engineer for the Beatles 1969–70, musician, leader of the Alan Parsons Project
- Paul Saltzman, film and TV producer/director, joined the Beatles in India
- Ken Scott, Beatles engineer 1967-69
- Norman Smith, Beatles engineer 1962–65, record producer, singer, premiered his memoir at the March 2007 convention
- Victor Spinetti, Welsh actor who appeared in the Beatles films A Hard Day's Night, Help! and Magical Mystery Tour
- Bruce Spizer, Beatles historian and author
- Alistair Taylor, personal assistant of Beatles' manager Brian Epstein, General Manager of Apple Corps
- Vivek Tiwary, author of the graphic novel The Fifth Beatle about Epstein
- Kenneth Womack, Beatles historian and biographer of record producer George Martin
- Hester, Jere (January 24, 2014). "Fascination with Beatles continues to grow long after Fab Four's infamous breakup". Daily News. New York.
- "History of The Fest". The Fest for Beatles Fans. Retrieved January 25, 2015.
- Lapidos, Mark (April 1, 2007). "Preface: The Beatles, In My Life". In Berman, Garry (ed.). 'We're Going to See the Beatles!': An Oral History of Beatlemania as Told by the Fans Who Were There. Santa Monica Press. pp. 11–14. ISBN 978-1-59580-032-9.
- Badman, Keith (2001). The Beatles Diary Volume 2: After the Break-Up 1970–2001. London: Omnibus Press. pp. 132–33. ISBN 978-0-7119-8307-6.
- Robinson, Lisa (April 22, 2014). There Goes Gravity: A Life in Rock and Roll. Penguin. p. 69. ISBN 978-1-101-63208-6.
- "Strange Rumblings in Pepperland". Rolling Stone. October 24, 1974.
- Beggy, Carol; Shanahan, Mark (November 10, 2003). "Beatlemania rocks Danvers; Red Sox GM turns Esquire 'rebel'". Boston Globe.
- Brown, Joe (June 30, 2008). "Embracing commercialism". Las Vegas Sun.
- "The Guide: Fairs, Fetes & Fests". Los Angeles: 174. December 1988.
- Badman, Keith (October 27, 2009). The Beatles Diary Volume 2: After the break-up, 1970-2001. Omnibus Press. p. 1572. ISBN 978-0-85712-001-4.
- Badman, Keith (2001). The Beatles Diary Volume 2: After the break-up, 1970-2001. Music Sales Group. p. 498. ISBN 978-0-85712-001-4.
- Beckerman, Jim (March 18, 2015). "Fest for Beatle Fans, this weekend, enters fifth decade". The Record. Retrieved March 28, 2015.
- "Case 73118612 Beatlefest". Trademark Status & Document Retrieval. USPTO. Retrieved July 3, 2020.; Mark Lapidos Productions Ltd. v Apple Corps Limited:
- Gerber, Michael (July 23, 2015). "The Future of Beatlefest". Hey Dullblog. Retrieved July 3, 2020.
- "The Fest for Beatles Fans 2014". Time Out. New York. January 13, 2014.
- "44th Annual Fest For Beatles Fans Announced, 3/9 - 11". Broadway World. February 9, 2018.
- Kane, Larry (July 30, 2013). When They Were Boys: The True Story of the Beatles' Rise to the Top. Running Press. pp. 141, 246, 248. ISBN 978-0-7624-4014-6.
- Hoffman, Dave (March 26, 2004). "Back in Secaucus Thirtieth Fest for Beatles Fans celebrates 4Oth anniversary of Fab Four's arrival in States". Hudson Reporter.
- Beckerman, Jim (March 26, 2019). "Beatles Fest celebrates an iconic album, and an iconic hoax". North Jersey Record.
- "Glen Burtnik". Styxtoury.com. Retrieved August 23, 2015.
- "Fest Guests 1974-2013". The Fest for Beatles Fans.
- Kozinn, Allan (January 31, 2014). "Beatle Fans Hear Yesterday Again". The New York Times.
- Farber, Jim (February 4, 2014). "New York City celebrates 50 years of the Beatles with special events". Daily News. New York.
- Mikrut, Michael (August 25, 2014). "Peter Noone Performing at The Fest for Beatles Fans Chicago 2014". People and Places. Leydon Township, IL. Retrieved February 2, 2015.
- "Donovan Plays Concert at Fest for Beatles Fans, New York City, February 7/8/9, Also He Will Give a Talk 'Meditation & The White Album'". Donovan Official Website. January 2014. Retrieved January 25, 2015.
- Donnelly, Tim (February 7, 2014). "Hot Picks: Fest for Beatles Fans celebrates band's USA debut". New York Post.
- Program from 2008 August 22–24 Chicago Beatlefest
- 1997 "Wings" photo page by Michael Cimino Archives Archived December 1, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Wings Alumni to Take Flight". ClassicRockCentral.com. July 10, 2007. Archived from the original on August 26, 2007.
- Rodriguez, Robert (2010). Fab Four FAQ 2.0: The Beatles' Solo Years, 1970-1980. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 221. ISBN 978-0-87930-968-8.
- Gomez, Sal (October 29, 2014). "Entertainment Corner: The Fest for Beatles Fans". Mid Valley News. El Monte, CA. Retrieved February 2, 2015.
- "Guests - New York City". The Fest for Beatles Fans. 2014. Archived from the original on November 14, 2013.
- Grochowski, John (August 8, 2012). "Fest for Beatles Fans: Yeah, yeah, yeah!". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on August 13, 2012.
- Gehman, Geoff (April 23, 1980). "Covering The Beat At Beatlefest Reverence, Reminiscences And Revenues Spark New York Event For '90, Reporter Finds". The Morning Call.
- Nilsson, Harry (2010). Who is Harry Nilsson? (And Why is Everyone Talkin' About Him?). New York: Authorized Pictures/Lorber Films. Archived from the original (DVD) on June 9, 2011.
- Shipton, Alyn (August 8, 2013). Nilsson: The Life of a Singer-Songwriter. Oxford University Press. pp. 256–257. ISBN 978-0-19-975657-5.
- Johnson, Joe (February 17, 2013). "RIP Tony Sheridan". Beatle Brunch Club News. Retrieved February 2, 2015.
- Kessler, Jude (August 14, 2009). "Live from the Chicago Fest for Beatles Fans". BeatlesNews.com. Retrieved January 25, 2015.
- Abrams, Erika (August 19, 2015). "Why the 2015 Chicago Fest For Beatles Fans Was the Best One Yet". REBEAT Magazine. Retrieved August 23, 2015.
- "Biography". Klaus Voormann. Retrieved January 25, 2015.
- Valadez, Eloise Marie (August 8, 2019). "Explore everything 'Fab Four' at The Fest for Beatles Fans". nwitimes.com.
- Johnson, Joe (August 24, 2010). "Beatle Brunch Newsletter". Retrieved January 25, 2015.
- Abrams, Erika (March 23, 2015). "NY Metro Fest for Beatles Fans: Day 3 Recap and Wrap-Up". REBEAT Magazine. Retrieved August 23, 2015.
- Barrow, Tony (2005). John, Paul, George, Ringo & Me: The Real Beatles Story. Da Capo Press. ISBN 1-56025-882-9.
- Clayson, Alan (April 22, 1992). "Chicago Breakdown". The Beat Goes On.
- "Fest for Beatles Fans celebrates the Fab 4". ABC7 Chicago. August 12, 2018.
- "Fest For Beatles Fans 2014 Invades Airport Marriott". Hollywood Revealed. October 12, 2014. Retrieved March 28, 2015.
- "L.A. Fest a Hit With Beatles Fans". Something New. October 21, 2014. Retrieved March 28, 2015.
- "Cynthia at Beatlefest". Meet the Beatles for Real. February 14, 2012.
- Germain, Rory (March 26, 2015). "Fest for Beatles Fans 2015". Thisismelo.com. Retrieved August 23, 2015.
- Schultz, Linda, ed. (2004). Tales of the Awesome Foursome: Beatles Fans Share Personal Stories and Memories of the Fab Four. Infinity Publishing. p. 194. ISBN 0-7414-2079-1.
- Hughes, Rob (2008). "Legendary Pink Floyd Producer Hurricane Dies". Uncut.
- Patterson, R. Garry (October 29, 1998). The Walrus Was Paul: The Great Beatle Death Clues. Simon and Schuster. p. 53. ISBN 0-684-85062-1.