Annual Beatle Convention in Liverpool.
Wednesday 20th - Tuesday 26th August 1997
Is it me getting older or does August appear to be coming round more quickly every year? Well, here we all are once again, assembled for our annual celebration of all things Beatles, in the place where it all began. One thing has become apparent; it may have started here but there’s no way it is ever going to die away! Beatles fans descend upon Liverpool in ever increasing numbers, from every corner of the globe. Fans either make the once in a lifetime trip to “Macca” or, indeed, come back as many times as their pockets will allow. For many years we were used to large numbers of American and Japanese tourists, but now we are as likely to bump into fans from Brazil or Sweden — or anywhere in the civilised world. This year there have been record numbers of fans booking the Convention package and the Adelphi was sold out well before Easter. (The advance booking form for 1998 will once again be available at the Convention on Monday.)
The last twelve months have been even more hectic than usual, as CCT continues to expand. The company now has a staff of over one hundred! January was the first of the busy months as we managed to buy the building in North John Street where our offices
are located. We have secured the building in order to open a hotel, just for Beatle fans, called “Hard Day’s Night Hotel” (for which we own a trademark) and we hope to open by the millennium. The first part of the expansion was completed on 6th August when we opened the region’s first sports bar and restaurant, featuring sports memorabilia ranging from Pele (thanks to Edu Henning) to Muhammad
Ali. It’s only around the corner from the Cavern and I hope you will take a few minutes out from your busy schedule to take a look. January 16th was the 40th anniversary of the opening of the Cavern Club and we had over one thousand guests for a very special party, which people in the city are still talking about.
Over 20 bands performed, highlighting the many different eras of the club. We had many VIPs on the day, ranging from Gerry Marsden and Billy J. Kramer to jazz great George
Melly. For Beatles
fans, the highlight must have been the reunion on stage of all six original Quarrymen.
Indeed, it was the first lime they had all been in the same room for 39 years. You wouldn’t believe it as they ripped their way through a 20 minute impromptu skiffle set.
There have been a number of 40th anniversary celebrations throughout the year as we pay tribute to the most famous club in the world. As a lasting tribute, we unveiled the Cavern Wall of Fame on the wall of the Cavern Pub, complete with a John
Lennon(ish) statue, circa 1961. The wall features the 1,801 bands who played the club between 1957 and 1973, together with a couple of contemporary bands who have gone on to greater things after playing the club (Oasis and Dodgy to name but two).
From January to May we were busy organising the very first stadium gig at Anfield, home of Liverpool Football Club. The gig featured the best of English contemporary pop, including Dodgy, Beautiful South, Space, Lightning Seeds,
Johnson, and the Manic Street Preachers. The concert was a sell out (nearly 40,000) and subsequently there was a nationally screened TV documentary and an album released on Virgin. All told, we believe the final figure we have raised for the “Hilisborough Justice Campaign” will be in the region of
half a million pounds. The campaign is to gain justice for the 96 Liverpool football fans who died at Hillsborough in April 1989, the official inquiry dismissing vital evidence as to how and why these people died.
We were very proud to be asked to organise this concert and ultimately of actually staging it. We did try to get Paul to appear, but his schedule unfortunately wouldn’t allow it; so we did the next best thing — we got the Bootleg Beatles to open the show and they went down an absolute bomb. We felt it appropriate that Liverpool F.C.’s first ever stadium gig should feature the Fab Four! Personally speaking, there were three other highlights for us over the last
twelve months. Cavern City Tours was once again (for the fourth straight year) voted Tour Operator of the Year for 1996, and the readers of the Liverpool Echo voted The Mathew Street Festival “Event of the Year’. The ultimate thrill, though, was to get a copy of “Flamin’ Pie” and realise that after four or
five plays that Paul had produced an absolute classic to stand alongside anything he has ever recorded. I’m sure we’ll hear a lot from that album over the next few days. Low points? Only one... the failure to get public and private funding for the Mathew Street Festival. The potential for the city is enormous. . . unlimited
but I’m afraid our efforts are falling on deaf ears. Hence, this year there will be no Mathew Street Festival. The forty or so bars in and around the Cavern Quarter will be putting their own bands on throughout the Monday afternoon, but it will not be like previous years.
For example, there will be no road closures or outside stages. Indeed, we recommend that you stay in the Convention on Monday, although the Cavern Pub, Cavern Club, Abbey Road Pub, Coopers Pub and our own Sports Bar and Grill will all feature Beatles bands during the day. If you venture into town we suggest you get a cab
Before we look at the week’s events in some depth, please note that we are currently putting together a tour for the “Standing Stone” McCartney evening at the Royal Albert Hall on October 14 (including ticket, of course).
By the time you read this, it is likely that the London Mean Fiddler event has already taken place, but it is worth noting that we intend to begin Beatle Week every year with a gig on the Wednesday in London. (Contact us for details approximately six months in advance.)
Billy May and friends will be strutting their stuff at The Cavern Pub during the afternoon from 2.30. The Cavern Club doors for the
evening shows open at 8pm, but the gates in the back room will not open till 9pm, so please just enjoy the facilities in the front part. Everybody will get in, so there’s no point in queuing in the front part from 8pm-9pm as it causes problems within the club.
At 2pm, our first of many visits to the Adelphi night club. You will notice that this year the gigs in the club will be a lot more structured, with a bigger stage, PA and light show. We’re sure you will enjoy the improved set-up. On Friday evening the Lennon/McCartney show will begin as advertised (8pm), but please note the venue is not Lomax 2 but is now The State Ballroom (which is two minutes’ walk from the Cavern Club
After the gig you must have a valid ticket for the Adelphi night club and proof of where you are staying.
This is to satisfy the licensing laws. There may be a small number of people allowed to pay every night but they must queue up until all ticket holders are in the club. Entry to the club at night for everybody is Brownlow Hill only.
The auction, as usual, begins at 10am and will be held at Central Hall. In the afternoon the “You are here” party takes place from 2pm at The Cavern with the best three Japanese bands. The evening performance by “1964” is once again at The State Ballroom (not Lomax 2 as advertised). After the gig, for those wanting to go back to the
Adelphi the procedures are the same as on Friday. Sunday: Remember, this is NOT Convention Day. We have decided to hold our own 40th Anniversary Party for those who couldn’t attend in January.
The area by the Cavern will be cordoned off and bands will be playing on all three levels of the Club, the Cavern Pub, Abbey Road Pub and the Cavern Club outside car park. It will be like our very own Mathew Street Festival!
Be early: it kicks off at 12 noon and goes on all afternoon. This is sure to be a highlight. Don’t forget to get to The Empire by 8pm to catch The Bootleg Beatles in concert. After the Bootlegs there will be a Beatles disco at the Adelphi night club, (£2 on the door). The bars will stay open late, but please understand that this is being organised by the Adelphi to keep the fans entertained and watered. Cavern City Tours will be tucked up in bed getting ready for...
Convention Day!!! This will be strange but it promises to be better than ever. All
Adelphi guests will be given a wrist band to be worn at all times on the Monday day time. You will receive this upon check in, where the receptionist should hole punch your VIP card to invalidate it. Your wrist band effectively becomes your ticket and gives you complete access on the day. Don’t put it on till Monday and do not take it off once you have put it on as it will break and become invalid. Don’t forget, there is also Beatle music in the Cavern Quarter from 12-6pm. The VIP Party will take place in the Adeiphi Club at midnight after the Convention (usual procedures apply).
Oh, my gawd! Is it Tuesday already? Instant Karma’s gonna get you from 2pm at The Cavern Club, then it’s over the road at 6pm to say fond farewells to everybody in the Cavern Pub. Go home, take four Alka Seltzer or, if you have got a real drink problem by now, try a couple of shots of Fernet Branca or Jagermeister to settle your stomach because
it’s work tomorrow!
Remember the events advertised at Lomax 2 are now at The State Ballroom, Dale St.
Adeiphi residents wear your wrist band on Convention Day (Monday). You must have a ticket for after midnight parties; entrance by
This Convention is dedicated to the memory of Mr Brian Epstein, who died 30 years ago on August Bank Holiday Monday, 1967.
Enjoy - Bill, Dave, George, Karen, Bob, Steve and Ray.