Liverpool visitor attraction Strawberry Field unveils its summer events programme with the Mersey Beatles set to be one of the highlights. Tony McDonough reports
Strawberry Field will begin its summer events programme on Monday, July 24.
Continuing until Saturday, September 9, the programme at the Salvation Army attraction will include the first public live music performances on the new bandstand among the many highlights.
Headliners taking the city’s newest stage include The Mersey Beatles, who will be meeting and greeting fans before performing a one-of-a-kind intimate performance on the bandstand.
Later in the year the band will perform at the M&S Bank Arena, which will be Liverpool’s biggest ever Beatles tribute show.
Another headliner includes pianist and vocalist, Tom Seals. Fresh from his sell-out tour, Tom will also be playing on the bandstand before performing at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall later in the year.
Events also include the Sing Your Socks Off choir and the Anglia Youth Band & Chorus.
Celebrating the music of the most famous pop group in the world, the summer programme includes events around International Beatleweek in August, with a Beatles mini-convention, performance from TR5s and a session for children to form a skiffle band.
Strawberry Field, in south Liverpool was immortalised in the 1967 Beatles hit Strawberry Fields Forever.
It is a property in the Woolton area of Liverpool and included a Victorian house that was originally built as a private residence. It was acquired by the Salvation Army in the 1930 and converted into a children’s home.
Growing up nearby, John Lennon had played in the grounds of the house, which was eventually demolished in 1973. It was replaced with purpose-built units. Its red-painted entrance gates became a place of pilgrimage for legions of Beatles fans.
The Strawberry Field Bandstand is shaped like a giant bass drum, inspired by The Beatles’ iconic album cover, ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’, and references The Salvation Army and its marching bands.
The bandstand also features a larger replica of the iconic ‘Imagine’ mosaic at the Strawberry Fields memorial in Central Park in New York.
Accompanying the live music, there will also be family events taking place throughout the summer weeks, such as Get Back to Play.
Every Tuesday until the end of August, children and parents/carers are invited to join in family crafts and play, with traditional toys and games in the gardens where John Lennon once played as a child.
Activities vary throughout the summer, with a special Beatles-themed event taking place on August 29, in which children will be able to listen to music and make their own skiffle band.
Kathy Versfeld, mission director at Strawberry Field, said: “We are very excited to announce our 2024 summer programme, which this year is centred around our newest attraction – the Strawberry Field Bandstand.
“I am thrilled that we are bringing music back to the Strawberry Field gardens – the place where John Lennon once sought sanctuary and experienced one of his earliest musical moments hearing The Salvation Army band play.”
Click here for more information about the programme.