Floral Pavilion to host event for International Beatleweek 2024

Part of International Beatleweek will be hosted outside of Liverpool for the first time ever.

The event, usually held in Liverpool city centre, will have “a mad day out” at the Floral Pavilion in New Brighton as it looks to bring more people into the venue in Wirral. The event will involve other places across New Brighton and according to a description, people “can expect to be exported back to the 60s at this traditional seaside town.”

Two events will be held on 22 and 23 August, featuring the Cavern Club Beatles and the Rocks Off, representing the Beatles and the Stones.

The event is being held in recognition of New Brighton’s links to the famous band who performed at the town’s former Tower Grounds musical venue 27 times, second to only the Cavern Club in Liverpool.

At a Wirral Council meeting, the Floral Pavilion’s manager Pauline Campbell said there were also plans to transform Fort Perch Rock and other areas for the event, adding, “We are going to turn the whole of New Brighton into the Beatles for a whole weekend.”

The events are part of a wider strategy aiming to bring more income into the theatre brought in following the local authority’s hire of Ms Campbell in 2022. The venue will be subsidised by Wirral Council by £500,000 over the next financial year to support it while it looks for a third-party operator to take it over.

Councillors had asked for a review of the Floral following unachieved savings linked to previous years and a budget out-turn of £1.4m. This review recommended the local authority reduce the theatre’s subsidy and cease providing a in-house catering service for events.

This will now mean those needing catering can get choose from a list of council-approved suppliers. This change could see potential job losses but council officers said they were looking to find people jobs elsewhere in the organisation.

The current management of the Floral was heavily praised by councillors, including plans to bring in a wider variety of shows from bigger week-long productions to local plays. New Brighton councillor Paul Martin praised Ms Campbell as “a breath of fresh air”.

In response to councillor questions, Ms Campbell said her team were currently building relationships with show companies, adding, “Nobody’s going to bring you a show that’s going to bring in nearly £300,000 unless they know you and you’re a good bet.” Upcoming shows include Murder in the Dark, Dial M for Mayhem, Cluedo 2, and new musicals.

On Beatleweek, she said this was the first time an event as part of the week would be hosted outside of Liverpool and would take place over the August bank holiday weekend.  57 different nationalities and over 800 people are expected to visit the seaside resort with the Floral working with local community groups and Fort Perch Rock to promote the event.

Image: The Beatles in America. Credit: Public domain – United States Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs division

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