It was 56 years ago today, The Beatles came to America to play! On Feb. 7, 1964, Beatlemania began when the band landed at Kennedy Airport to perform on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” This Labor Day weekend that Beatles magic comes to LIU Post’s Tilles Center in Brookville for “Abbey Road on the Island,” a three-day Beatles festival from Sept. 4 to 6.
“There’s never been anything quite like John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. The Beatles are the most unique phenomenon to ever happen,” says Gary Jacob, festival co-executive producer, who has been putting on Beatle festivals for 20 years across the country. “No matter what age, everybody knows their songs.”
Each day will run from noon to 11 p.m. featuring more than 35 acts performing Beatles material on six different stages in- and outdoors.
“There will be a full variety of styles, ranging from acoustic solo artists to full bands to costumed tribute shows,” says Bill Biddle, executive director of Tilles Center. “It will be for both hard-core fans and for those who want to learn more about The Beatles.”
The Saturday night headliner will be the world-renowned Beatles tribute band The Fab Four, who will perform a full two-hour chronological show on Sept. 5.
“We start with ‘She Loves You’ on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’ complete with an Ed Sullivan impersonator and go through The Beatles’ entire career ending with the ‘Let It Be’ era,” says singer/bassist Ardy Sarraf, who plays the Paul McCartney role. “We do the mannerisms, accents, costumes and makeup. Our band is very detail oriented.”
In addition to live music, there will be a host of other Beatle-related activities including Beatles lyrics recited as poetry, Beatles albums analyzed in lectures, Beatles films, Beatles live art being created on-site and a marketplace featuring officially licensed merchandise ranging from 80 styles of Beatles T-shirts, guitar accessories, bags, jewelry and vintage collectibles.
“We want people to make this weekend a family tradition they mark on the calendar each year,” says Jacob, who has a three-year commitment to Tilles. “This event will embody the notion of peace, love and rock and roll. It’s all harmony!”
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Tickets for “Abbey Road on the Island” are $45 per day (general admission) or $90 per day (preferred seating including The Fab Four concert). The VIP package ($300) gives access to all three days, preferred seating, meet-and-greets with the artists and more. Children 14 and under are free with a paid adult. The sale begins Friday, Feb. 28 at 10 a.m. at tillescenter.org and ticketmaster.com. For more information, call 516-299-3100.