It will be a fabulous three months of anticipation for fans of the Fab Four.
That’s because The Fest for Beatles Fans, which bills itself as “the world’s longest running Beatles celebration”, will take place in New York City on February 7, 2014 – the 50th Anniversary of the Beatles’ arrival in America.
According to the event’s founder, Mark Lapidos, the 2014 Fest is happening Friday, February 7 through Sunday, February 9 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City. In a stretch of historical serendipity, the dates and days of the week correspond exactly to the dates of the Beatles’ 1964 arrival at JFK Airport, and their Earth-changing performance on the Ed Sullivan Show.
Beatle trekkies will have plenty to sink their teeth into at the New York Fest. Close associates of the Beatles that will be on hand include British Invasion music stars including Donovan (“Mellow Yellow”), Peter Asher (Peter & Gordon “World Without Love” and former A&R at Apple Records), Billy J. Kramer (“Bad To Me”), Chad & Jeremy (“Yesterday’s Gone”), and former UK head of the Beatles Fan Club, Freda Kelly who is profiled in the recent documentary “Good Ol’ Freda.”
On the live music side, additional guests include Ringo Starr’s current musical director Mark Rivera and former producer Mark Hudson, the Smithereens, Birds of Paradox (Steve Holley of Wings, and Gary Van Scyoc & Adam Ippolito of John Lennon’s 1972 concert band, the Nutopians), Ed Sullivan Show production executive Vince Calandra who stood in for George Harrison during “Sullivan” TV rehearsals, last season of NBC’s “The Voice” finalist Garrett Gardner, and the Beatles tribute band Liverpool.
Beatles book authors will also be on hand. Among them are Mark Lewisohn (“Tune In”), Vivek Tiwary (“The Fifth Beatle”), Larry Kane (“When They Were Boys”), Bruce Spizer (The Beatles Are Coming!: The Birth of Beatlemania in America), Mark Hayward (“The Beatles With Norman Parkinson”), Jude Southerland Kessler (“She Loves You”), and Al Sussman (“Changin’ Times”).
The weekend will also include two Marketplaces, Auction of Beatles memorabilia, Gretsch Guitar’s George Harrison Mobile Exhibit, Eric Cash Art Exhibit, Neal Glaser’s Celebrity Art Exhibit, Beatles Museum & Art Contest, Battle of the Bands, Puppet Shows, Friday Evening ’60s Dance Party, Trivia and Name That Tune competitions.
Master of Ceremonies for The Fest is Martin Lewis, noted Beatles scholar and producer of the DVD edition “A Hard Day’s Night.”
In addition to two performance stages and expanded hours, one of the many new features of this year’s festivities is the “Q104.3 Lounge” hosted by presenting sponsor, New York’s Classic Rock Station Q104.3, whose DJ Ken Dashow will serve as Co-MC.
Ready to attend? Tickets for the New York Fest are available on The Fest website.
Here’s the price breakdown for advance tickets (through January 17th).
TICKETS TO RIDE:
All-Access (All 3 Days) $195
Weekender (Sat & Sun) $145
(Friday plus Sat OR Sun)
Friday only $55
Sat only $79
Sun only $79
Special Rates For Younger Fans:
Junior Fans – From 6 through 16 – HALF PRICE
Mini-Fans – From 5 and under – FREE AS A BIRD
In 2014, The Fest will also return to Los Angeles in October for the first time in 14 years, in addition to its annual event in Chicago. The Chicago Fest will take place on the weekend of August 15-17 at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare. The Los Angeles Fest will take place on the weekend of October 10-12 at the Los Angeles Airport Marriott.