Beatlemania will be coming to Westchester County in a big way. Fifty years since the British music invasion, “The Fest for Beatles Fans” (originally known as Beatlefest), one of the largest gatherings of Beatles enthusiasts in the nation, will be held at the Hilton Westchester in Rye Brook.
The Fest, expected to attract more than 5,000 fans, will be held Friday, March 20 to Sunday, March 22. This year celebrates 50 years since the peak of Beatlemania in the United States, a time when their influence forever changed the landscape of rock concerts in stadium settings and popular music in general.
“The Beatles’ popularity has never faded and we’re thrilled to host this major celebration of the iconic band here in Westchester County,” said County Executive Rob Astorino. “Since 1974, the convention has appealed to young audiences and longtime fans of the well-known rock band.”
“We are very pleased to be hosting ‘The Fest for Beatles Fans,’” said Jeffrey Farina, director of sales and marketing at the Hilton Westchester. “We think we have the perfect venue for this three-day multifaceted event.”
Westchester’s largest business organization is also pleased the event is coming to the county.
“Westchester County is an ideal destination for this fab festival for Beatles fans,” said Marsha Gordon, president and CEO of The Business Council of Westchester. “And the timing couldn’t be better. Fifty years ago this year, Beatlemania was at its peak and in August The Beatles held the Shea Stadium concert that set a new standard for the rock era when they played to a then-record crowd of some 55,000. It’s a true testimony to their greatness that thousands of people from the New York metropolitan area continue to enjoy their music and culture at festivals like this one. We couldn’t be happier to welcome ‘The Fest for Beatles Fans’ to Westchester.”
Numerous guests and an eclectic group of musicians, all of whom have performed with different members of the group, will make appearances at the convention, including multimillion-selling recording artist Gary Wright, who played keyboards on George Harrison’s “All Things Must Pass” album and Ringo Starr’s early ‘70s solo hits; Laurence Juber, lead guitarist for Paul McCartney’s band Wings; and Grammy-winning producer Russ Titelman, who produced Harrison’s self-titled album in 1979, as well as albums by Steve Winwood, James Taylor and Eric Clapton. Also attending will be “Newlywed Game Show” host Bob Eubanks.
“An event like The Fest is a great example of the kind of exciting attractions that we like to bring to Westchester,” said Natasha Caputo, director of Westchester County Tourism. “We are enthusiastic about the upcoming convention and look forward to the buzz surrounding this phenomenal celebration.”
The Fest was founded by New York-born, New Jersey-raised Beatles fan Mark Lapidos in 1974. It took place at the Commodore Hotel in New York City where more than 8,000 Beatles fans attended. Since its inception, the Fest has taken place every year in the New York area, as well as being held in Chicago, Boston, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Orlando, Philadelphia and San Francisco. The Fest has received great support from the original Beatles members, including John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
“I am very excited to be bringing our 41st Annual Beatles Celebration, “The Fest For Beatles Fans,” to The Hilton Westchester for one fab-filled weekend, March 20-22,” Lapidos said. “Beatles fans of all ages are coming in from over 20 states, Canada and Europe. Many fans from Westchester have been coming over the years. Now with the Fest in their backyard, they can easily enjoy the myriad of events that makes this event so special.”
For more information about “The Fest for Beatles Fans,” visit http://www.thefest.com/2015-fests/new-york-metro-march-20-22-2015/. For the latest events and happenings in Westchester, log onto www.visitwestchesterny.com, like us on Facebook (facebook.com/westchestercountytourism), follow on Twitter @westchestertour or call 1-800-833-9282. To view the Westchester County Destination Guide, visit http://digital-editions.mediatwo.com/westchester-destination.