Although the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland are neighbors, the Beatles visited Ireland only once during their prolific career. On November 7, 1963 the Fab Four gave two performances at the Adelphi Cinema in Dublin as part of their Autumn Tour. Each concert was attended by about 2,3 thousand music lovers. The Beatles performed a standard 10-songs set which featured the songs from their debut studio album Please Please Me including I Saw Her Standing There and Twist and Shout.
Although the band’s first appearance in Ireland turned out to be also the last, the Beatles earned a cult following here just like in many other countries all over the world. In 2013, long after the band broke up, a group of enthusiasts from Dublin decided to organize a festival dedicated to the legendary band in order to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Dublin concert. Temple Bar seemed like a perfect place to host the festival because it’s the city’s cultural quarter that is popular with both locals and tourists.
What was envisioned as a one-off event, became an annual festival. Sadly, the team couldn’t organize a full-fledged three-day festival in 2016, but they presented Beatles Day to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the album Revolver.
The program of the Dublin Beatles Festivals focuses on performances by the Beatles tribute bands playing homage to the Fab Four. The concerts take place at several venues in Temple Bar. Most of them are seated shows with limited capacity, so the organizers encourage attendees to book early in order to avoid disappointment.
Along with concerts, the program features other events and activities including table quizzes, stage plays, screenings of feature and documentary films about the Beatles, parties, walking tours, art exhibitions, and more. Of course, there are special guests. For example, the 2015 edition of the festival was visited by Freda Kelly, a lifelong secretary for the Beatles and the head of their Liverpool fan club.
Although the Dublin Beatles Festival is hardly a large-scale event, it is an important part of Dublin’s cultural life. It attracts visitors from different corners of Ireland as well as from other countries such as the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Poland, etc.
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