Liverpool is celebrating 50 years since the release of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band with a series of 13 major commissions by renowned artists, situated around the city. The new works are made for each of the album’s tracks, such as a series of billboards by Jeremy Deller celebrating the life of Brain Epstein, titled With a Little Help from my Friends. This aims to “examine the nature of friendship and self-sacrifice, not just with those we know but also between strangers”.
The programme also includes a 12-metre painting by Judy Chicago called Four Lads from Liverpool, a tribute to Fixing a Hole; a pyrotechnic display by Olympic Fireworks expert Christophe Berthonneau from Groupe F with Scott Gibbons, named Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, and Getting Better?, a multi-screen sound installation by DJ Spooky.
On 11 June, Indian arts development trust Milapfest will host The Beatles Ragafest, a day-long festival featuring top Indian musicians including Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt.
A short film A Day in the Life – Twenty Four Zero Hours by Frank Cottrell Boyce and Hurricane Films is being made over the first 24 hours of the Sgt. Pepper at 50 festivities on 1 June, and will “attempt to express the essence of Liverpool”.
Sir Paul McCartney says of the event: "It’s truly amazing to see our home town come together to celebrate this album in such style. It’s touching to see, after all this time what Sgt. Pepper means to so many people.”
Ringo Starr says: “It’s incredible that 50 years later Sgt. Pepper is still moving people. And now how great that we get all these new interpretations, some classical, jazz, even art and dance. Yours with Peace & Love, Billy Shears, 10 Admiral Grove, Liverpool 8.”
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