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Celebrate the 1960’s at BeatFest at Liverpool Central Library tomorrow 

1 year ago

Celebrate the 1960’s at BeatFest at Liverpool Central Library tomorrow 

BeatFest is on at Liverpool Central Library on Saturday 17 June 2023

Organisers of Liverpool MakeFest have created a new family-friendly fun day to celebrate all things ’60s.

They’ve described the ‘BeatFest’ event, which is being held tomorrow at the Central Library on William Brown Street, as a special 1960s retro day, to celebrate the full return of the Liverpool MakeFest event – ‘White Heat of Technology’ – on July 1 and the Liverpool 1963 – How did we do it? Merseybeat exhibition which is on at the library until August 31.

Denise Jones, one of the co-founders of MakeFest –  a one-day hybrid technology and arts & crafts festival where makers get together to show their projects to the public – explains: “MakeFest is now in its 8th year, and we usually have a promotional event before it linked to the theme of that year.

“This year, the theme is White Heat of Technology on the 60th anniversary of Harold Wilson’s famous speech, and it seemed to tie in with the Liverpool 1963 exhibition, and how Liverpool was on the cusp of change, as science and technology was.”

BeatFets Liverpool - The Guide Liverpool
Helen Anderson

It even links with the 60th anniversary of Dr Who and the technology behind that, she adds: “So who knows, you might even see a dalek?!”

BeatFest is packed with activities, talks, live music, choirs, and more’ including:

  • Afternoon performances by Cavern headliners ‘The Shakers’ in the Discover Library: “We really don’t mind you having a dance amongst the bookshelves if you feel like it! “.
  • A talk by artist and children’s author Tina Freeman, who’ll be reading from of some of her Beatle and Mod-themed children’s books.
  • A Q+A with  Helen Anderson, co art school attendee and lifelong friend of John Lennon who designed and created his famous leather peaked caps: “Helen has had a long career in the fashion industry since she opened her boutique in Bold St in 1962 and has many friends from the local Merseybeat bands. So, get you questions ready to find out what being a part of the Merseybeat scene in 60’ Liverpool was really like.”
  • A chance to accompany the celebrated music historian Spencer Leigh as he guides you around the Liverpool 1963 exhibition. 
  • Meet the Mods! A chance to view some great scooters and have your photo taken with a pink Cadillac as local scooter clubs descend on the library to join in the fun in support of the Teenage Cancer Trust.
Searchers – Liverpool 1963 exhibition

Denise, Central Library Manager, says:

“BeatFest has come together so well that we’re thinking of making it an annual event in its own right.

“We have got some great people attending and there’s been so much interest.

“It’s a nod to the fact that in 1963 we were on the cusp of so much change, especially with technology, and it’s about to all change again with AI. 

“And it’s a chance to get people dancing in the Discover Library –  I love it when that happens – and to just have a great day.”

Liverpool 1963 – How Did We Do It? Is a new exhibition which explores exploring how and why Liverpool rose to rule the pop world in 1963, and includes memorabilia including a ‘lost’ song by Merseybeat legend Gerry Marsden, and a telegram from John Lennon apologising to Cavern DJ Bob Wooler for breaking his nose at Paul McCartney’s 21st birthday!

Spencer Leigh, Merseybeat expert and the exhibition’s co-curator, says: “It’s 60 years since Liverpool transformed itself and then the UK and then the world, having a remarkable effect on popular culture which resonates until today. Why else is the Eurovision Song Contest being staged in Liverpool?

“Liverpool 1963 – How Did we Do It? looks at The Beatles and all the other musicians who made such a difference to our popular culture. We have gone out of our way to ask musicians and collectors for unusual items to show us and there are surprises wherever you look in this exhibition.”

* BeatFest offers a full days of events and is being held in Liverpool Central Library’s Hornby and Discover Libraries on Saturday, June 17, from 9.30am to 5pm.

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