THOUSANDS of music fans descended on Abbotsfield Park at the weekend in order to celebrate 50 years since the Beatles’ folkloric performance at the Urmston Show in 1963.
The fab four were booked to play the annual show before they became famous and they actually tried to get out of playing the event, but the Beatles were contractually obliged to play the show and they did, much to the delight of Urmston fans.
Urmston businessmen, Neil Swift and Peter Killick, who have been friends for more than 40 years, decided to organise an anniversary concert to mark the historic event around 18 months ago, which successfully came to fruition in the form of two concerts on August 10 and 11.
Neil said: “If someone sat down with us six weeks ago and put a picture in front of us of what the concert would look like, we would have snatched their hand off.
“We had a great team of people and everyone to a man worked their socks off. None of us have ever done this before and when we saw people enjoying themselves it made it all worthwhile and made us work even harder.”
Around 3,300 people attended the Saturday concert – which was headlined by the famous tribute band, the Bootleg Beatles, supported by Flixton’s, the Rainband and popular sixties groups, the Tremeloes and Herman’s Hermits.
The Sunday show, which Neil said was about showcasing local talent, was attended by around 1,200 people. Both nights were compered by BBC Radio Mancester’s Mike Sweeney.
A reader, who did not wish to be named, said: “I just wanted to say how brilliant the Beatles in Urmston show was.
She added: “It was so well organised, well done to all concerned. But let's not wait 50 years for the next one – 50 weeks would be more like it. Same again next year please.”
Neil joked that he and Peter need a holiday before they think about planning something on such a large scale again, but if there is genuinely a ‘local appetite’ for another concert, they would be happy to oblige.
“I’ve just found out that the Rolling Stones played in 1964 so there’s food for thought,” Neil added.