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A performer plays guitar at a Beatles-themed event.
Photograph: Courtesy of The Fest for Beatles Fans

The Fest for Beatles Fans will celebrate 50 years of retro fandom in NYC

'Come together' for this weekend of Beatles yoga, karaoke, trivia and music.

Rossilynne Skena Culgan
Written by
Rossilynne Skena Culgan

Sixty years ago this February, the Beatles landed at JFK Airport and revolutionized contemporary music with their fresh new sound. Beatlemania began, and the craze hasn't faded in the decades since.

To celebrate the anniversary, Beatles aficionados gather every year for The Fest for Beatles Fans, which features Beatles yoga, karaoke, trivia, transcendental meditation, and, of course, plenty of music. This year, the fest, which runs from February 9-11 at the historic TWA Hotel at JFK Airport, celebrates 50 years. Expect a star-studded roster of Beatles-related special guests led by Micky Dolenz of the Monkees. Tickets start at $89 and go up to $299 for a three-day pass.

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The three-day event will be packed with Beatles-related special guests, meet-and-greets, live music, a giant Beatles marketplace, a Beatles museum, an auction of rare items, an art gallery, and an impromptu "fan jam" in the hotel lobby all weekend. Other activities include Beatles yoga, transcendental meditation talks, a poetry jam, trivia and a name-that-tune gameshow. 

Several people on stage hold microphones and speak at a Beatles-themed event.
Photograph: Courtesy of The Fest for Beatles Fans

Guests are encouraged to get into the '60s spirit with a dress-up dance party, a retro hair salon, and vintage clothing vendors. 

Music is, of course, fundamental to the experience. Hear from bands including Liverpool, The Weeklings, Black Ties, Blac Rabbit, Cellophane Flowers, and Jeff Slate's Weekend Wilburys. DJs with Beatles remixes are welcome to bring their music to play, and anyone with an instrument can get in on the lobby jam session.

The fest also offers a chance to learn more about the lads from Liverpool. Beatles-related guests will share their stories connected to the Fab Four. This lineup of legendary musicians includes Laurence Juber (Wings guitarist), Billy J. Kramer (Liverpool legend), Gregg Bissonette (Ringo Starr Band), Steve Holley (Wings drummer), and Mark Rivera (Ringo Starr Band, Billy Joel).

Beatles authors will also share their stories about the band.  

When New Jerseyite Mark Lapidos founded The Fest 50 years ago, he personally got John Lennon's blessing for the event.  

“I’m all for it, I’m a Beatles fan too!” Lennon is said to have told him. 

Since then, the event has become the largest and longest-running celebration of The Beatles. It runs in multiple cities and regions throughout the year. 

This year, the event returns to the original location of The Beatles arrival in America where they touched down at JFK Airport and sparked a cultural revolution that endures today. So get your ticket to ride and come together for this radically retro event.

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