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Beatles Story Rocks Its Silver Anniversary
PHOTO: Liverpool’s Albert Dock went from desolation to profitable tourism center with a little help from the Beatles. (Photo by James Ruggia)
It was 25 years ago today that the Beatles Story opened on the Albert Dock in Liverpool. The Beatles Story presents a permanent exhibition devoted to the lives and times of The Beatles. “Our record figures for the last financial year show that even 25 years on, the Beatles Story brand remains incredibly strong and continues to grow as an integral part of Liverpool’s visitor economy,” said Martin King, of the Beatles Story. To commemorate the 25th birthday, the Beatles Story put on a star-studded event as Liverpudlian municipal VIPs joined members from the Beatles Industry Group, celebrities, and co-founders, Mike and Bernie Byrne to look back on 25 years.
The winners of the Beatles Story ambassador competition were also announced by Liverpool’s Lord Mayor, Erica Kemp. The competition, which ran from the beginning of February, saw Beatles fans from all over the world compete to be named the biggest Beatles fan. The entries came in from 52 countries including China, Japan, Brazil, New Zealand and the U.S. Twenty-five winners told their passionate tales of The Beatles. Their role will be to spread the word of the Beatles Story internationally and the attraction will be working with each of them to keep them in the loop on any new projects.
The top prize was won by Mexico’s Tere Chacon, who claims to be the first to publish a Beatles-based website in Spanish. She will travel to Liverpool and visit the city’s many Beatles-oriented attractions. She will also take tea with the Lord Mayor and stay at the Hard Days Night Hotel.
The night’s ceremonies concluded with a performance by the Pete Best band in the Beatle Story’s replica Cavern, though the festivities are scheduled go on all weekend long with entertainment taking place across the Albert Dock and special performances from a local community choir, several acoustic sets from different musicians and a dance show.
PHOTO: The Cavern Club where the lads brought their really big show back from Hamburg. (Photo by James Ruggia)
“For 25 glorious years the Beatles Story continues to be one of Albert Dock’s most popular attractions,” said Peter Cronin, director of development and marketing for Albert Dock Liverpool. “It sits at the very heart of our cultural offer alongside Merseyside Maritime Museum and Tate Liverpool and continues to play an integral part in Albert Dock’s enduring success. It is one of the reasons why almost six million people visited us last year - a figure which continues to grow year on year.”
The Beatles Story continues to expand its collection. In February, the Beatles Story unveiled hand written notes by George Martin from the first Help! recording dated Feb. 15, 1965. The recording of Help!, their fifth album and soundtrack to their second film, began in Studio Two at EMI Studios, Abbey Road and Martin’s handwritten recording notes reveal the structure of the sessions and the departure from their usual recording methods.
As one of the first tenants to open in a regenerated Albert Dock, the Beatles Story was a game changer back in the 1990s, when Liverpool rose to a more prominent place in British tourism. The Beatles circuit in Liverpool includes the Beatles Story at Albert Dock; two houses that made Britain’s National Trust list because they were the childhood homes of John Lennon and Paul McCartney and more. The entire circuit is covered by a journey on The Magical Mystery Tour bus or by the Beatles Fab Four Taxi Tours.
Liverpool tourism took off in 2008, when the city became the European Capital of Culture. In the lead up to its turn as European Capital, the city invested more than $80 million in the arts; $46 million on building renovations and another $21 million on marketing, for a total budget of $166 million. It reaped an estimated £800 million ($1.3 billion) in economic benefits from its turn as European Capital, almost all of it coming from tourism. The Beatles are the city’s top driver of tourism.
PHOTO: George Martin’s notes for the production of help are among the Mop Top sacraments at the Beatles Story. (Courtesy of the Beatles Story)
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