Sunday 17 December 2017

Beatlemania is set to take over Dublin city

'Battle' scenes for the Beatles
'Battle' scenes for the Beatles
Touchdown: The Beatles arrive on an Aer Lingus flight to Dublin Airport as, from left, George, Ringo, Paul and John lark about on the tarmac before the concert. Photo: www.irishphotoarchive.ie
Ticket for The Beatles
The Beatles Irish Concerts, by Colm Keane, is published by Capel Island Press, price €7.99.
Geraldine Gittens

Geraldine Gittens

Beatlemania is set to take over Dublin city from tomorrow with the inaugural Beatles Festival hitting city venues, to mark the 50th anniversary of the legends’ appearances here.

A packed four-day programme of gigs by tribute bands and contemporary musicians, plays, walks, talks, art, memorabilia have been organised to celebrate the jubilee.

The Beatles played only two gigs in Dublin, both on Thursday November 7, 1963 at the Adelphi Cinema on Middle Abbey Street (which is now Arnotts’ Goods Inwards).

It was a night of unprecedented hysteria and frenzy, with just over 200 gardai on duty that night to battle the crazed concert crowds.

Shirley Chance, a co-organiser of the festival told independent.ie :“It’s hard for people to verbalise the chaos and the frenzy from the night. One man told us that the first audience was around 2,300 and they didn’t want to leave, and then the others for the second audience wanted to get in.”

“So there were around 4,500 people all trying to pack into one little venue.”

“Beatlemania was brand new and no-one had anticipated the frenzy their Dublin appearance would result in. Nothing like this had ever been seen here before.”

“Even though the Beatles were only here for one day, there are a lot of stories from that day because the Beatles met a lot of people.”

John Lennon’s original band The Quarrymen, which he formed as a young teenagers, will perform in The Gresham Hotel on Saturday night.

And Beatles fans can wheel and deal for old memorabilia which will be up for grabs at memorabilia, vintage and record fairs where free valuations will be offered with UK experts Beatles Days.

“We have Beatles Days over from the UK. They’re a specialist Beatles memorabilia organisation, and they’re going to be giving evaluations on things like original tickets, programmes, and things which are still very precious items. Old singles and albums that were released, and things like that.”

The debate ultimate fans’ debate – who is the better songwriter, McCartney or Lennon? – will take place at the Twisted Pepper on Sunday

For more information, see dublinbeatlesfestival.com.

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