To celebrate The Beatles’ iconic Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album turning 50 Rhyl’s High Street will be transformed into Beatles Street.
On Saturday, July 14, 1962, The Beatles played in Wales for the first time, heralding the start of Beatlemania.
The Fab Four’s first Welsh gig – at Rhyl’s Regent Dansette Ballroom, now home to Burton and Dorothy Perkins – lasted an hour, with tourists and locals entertained for just five shillings.
A blue plaque marks the building where The Beatles performed and now local tribute band The Cavernites will take to the stage in the town’s high street on Saturday, July 15 to remember the historic day.
The event is organised by Rhyl Town Council and Mayor Cllr Alan James said: “Not many people know The Beatles played in Rhyl three times – in 1962 at the Dansette on the high street, returning a year later for two shows at the Ritz Ballroom which was near the old funfair.
“The band’s first visit was very much a town affair, with The Beatles spending their pre-show time visiting the funfair and grabbing a drink in the Lorne Pub, next to the Dansette.
“On their second visit, they stayed at the Westminster Hotel on the seafront. Given the town’s Beatles links and that 2017 is the anniversary year of one of their iconic albums, what better way to celebrate by treating locals and tourists to some real seaside rock?”
At the time of their first Rhyl performance, The Beatles’ line-up was John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and drummer Pete Best, who left the band a month after their appearance at the Dansette, to be replaced by Ringo Starr.
Glenn Mitchell of The Cavernites said: “Saturday July 14 1962 was a turning point in the career of The Beatles, a day The Beatles were looking forward to as it marked the start of the group venturing out of their home city and the beginnings of what would be termed 'Beatlemania' by the national press.
“Manager Brian Epstein had big plans for the group - he knew they were going places but to achieve that they needed to be seen in venues other than Merseyside.
“It was against this backdrop of change that a 22-year-old John Lennon awoke relatively early on that bright summer’s day and headed out for their first performance in Wales.
“We’re thrilled to be able to play in Rhyl to mark this special occasion and bring The Beatles back to the High Street, 55 years on.”
The Cavernites will be performing on the High Street between noon and 4pm. They will be supported by ‘60s tribute singer Catherine Cook.