60 Years of The Beatles

No Hamburg, no Beatles - 2020 the music city of Hamburg celebrates the 60th anniversary of the “Fab Four”

On 17 August 1960, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Stuart Sutcliffe and Pete Best played their first gig at the Indra Club in the legendary St Pauli district of Hamburg. It was their first official appearance as The Beatles. The lads from Liverpool, some of whom were still minors in the beginning, spent two years in Hamburg with only a few breaks in between. Here The Beatles laid the foundations for their unparalleled global career. John Lennon once said “I grew up in Liverpool but I came of age in Hamburg”, and this is arguably the story of the Beatles in Hamburg in a nutshell. Put up in very basic accommodation, they would perform and party for hours, nights, and weeks on end, at the Indra, the Kaiserkeller, the Top Ten and the Star Club. Following their debut as a band in 1960, the Beatles played in Hamburg more often than anywhere else in the world – with 300 concerts, five contracts with four different music clubs, and about 1,200 hours spent on Hamburg stages. Today, the lively streets of St Pauli are lined with creative music venues, but back in the 1960s, the Beatles would spend their time in infamous St Pauli in the company of rockers, gangsters and prostitutes. All the hard work paid off eventually: only eleven days after the lads had left Hamburg in 1962, they had their very first number one hit, and it wasn’t long before they were world stars and Beatlemania was born. “No Hamburg, no Beatles” comments Mark Lewisohn, the acclaimed Beatles author, aptly.

Music city of Hamburg: The Beatles, club culture, and the Reeperbahn Festival

The spirit of the Beatles can still be felt in contemporary Hamburg – not only in the many places where you can follow in the Beatles’ footsteps all year round as part of a themed guided tour – such as the musical Beatles tour with Stefanie Hempel – but especially in the countless live music clubs on the Reeperbahn and at Hamburg’s unique music festivals. The annual Reeperbahn Festival, for instance, is the largest club festival in Europe. Hosted each year in September, the festival features more than 400 bands at over 90 concert venues – providing an ideal environment for newcomer bands from across the globe, some of them to perform on the very same stages where the Beatles used to play back in the 1960s.

Images

© Hamburg Tourismus GmbH

© Hamburg Tourismus GmbH

© Hamburg Tourismus GmbH

© Hamburg Tourismus GmbH

© Hamburg Tourismus GmbH

Digital Press Kit „Hamburg celebrates 60 years of the Beatles“