Dublin will return to the days of Beatlemania this weekend to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the group’s visit to the city. There are gigs, tours, plays and quizzes all taking place over the next few days.
The Beatles performed two shows at the Adelphi cinema in 1963 and though they were only in town for one day, they certainly made a lasting impression. More than 300 fans welcomed the band when they arrived at Dublin airport and the two gigs they performed led to pandemonium in and around the venue.
Shirley Chance, who organised Dublin Beatles Festival said: “There are a lot of stories from that day because the Beatles met a lot of people. The first audience was around 2,300 and they didn’t want to leave, and then the second audience wanted to get in. It’s hard for people to verbalise the chaos and the frenzy from the night.”
Dublin will mark the anniversary in style this weekend. A concert loaded with tribute bands will take place on Friday at Filmbase in Temple Bar and there is also a fair where fans can buy and sell memorabilia.
The suits the band wore for their promotional tour for A Hard Day’s Night will be part of Beatles exhibition and there’s also a walking tour of Dublin including a visit to the pub that John and Ringo downed a quick pint before the gig.
Two plays, Lennon v McCartney and John Lennon’s Last Day will be showing and The Ultimate Beatles Quiz takes place on Sunday for the diehard fans to test their knowledge.
There are loads more Beatles events and attractions taking place in Dublin this weekend. For more details of the schedules visit www.dublinbeatlesfestival.com
The Beatles had lasting association with Ireland throughout their careers. John Lennon bought an island off the west coast and intended to live there with Yoko Ono. He was assassinated before development work could begin and Yoko later sold the property.
Paul McCartney wrote and recorded a song called Give Ireland Back to the Irish. It was recorded at the height of the troubles in Northern Ireland and was immediately banned by broadcasters in Britain.
McCartney retained his interest in Ireland and returned to the country in 2002 to marry Heather Mills at Castle Leslie in Glaslough. The marriage was not a happy one unfortunately and the couple later divorced.