39 Years Ago Today (9/7/1974) – First FEST

39 years ago today, Saturday, September 7, 1974, we opened the doors to our first Beatles Celebration – then called Beatlefest. It took place at the Commodore Hotel on 42nd Street in New York City. I didn’t know what to expect. My brain was overloading with details. Did I forget anything? Was everybody going to show up? Was John going to surprise everyone and show up to pick the winner of the signed guitar he donated for charity? An amazing calm came over me the moment I came down to the main ballroom and saw the entire ballroom completely filled with fans, and then I realized that all these fans were here because of my idea of a 10th Anniversary Celebration of The Beatles Arrival in America. 8,000 people showed up over that weekend. I was interviewed by the NY Times (it appeared in the 9/8/74 edition, plus we made the covers of both Rolling Stone and UK’s Meloday Maker. I had no idea I would put on another FEST the next year, but thanks to all the calls and letters we received, I did and it has been an annual event ever since. Soon after, we started holding them in other cities, too! Now 119 FESTS and all these years later, we find ourselves gearing up for our 40th Anniversary Celebration at the same site, now called the Grand Hyatt and on the EXACT 50th Anniversary of the days The Beatles Arrived in America and appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show, February 7-9, 2014. It has been quite a journey for the Lapidos Family, and the best part has been meeting so many other fans over the years and to have been able to present and meet guests who have been an integral part of The Beatles Story. Thank you for a wonderful 39 years, so far…


5 thoughts on “39 Years Ago Today (9/7/1974) – First FEST

  1. To bad you couldn’t get Paul and Ringo to sign something to auction for charity. I was the lucky bidder one year when the fur hat that Victor wore in Help!. I still own it and it is a prized possesion. Sadly I now live in the greater Orlando area and miss the shows so much and wish every year that it would return here.

  2. I was at a few shows through the years and was lucky enough to be the highest bidder for the fur hat that Victor wore in HELP!. Still have it in my Beatles collection along with all original Parlaphone releases and Apple first pressings. I wish that the Fest would make it’s way down to Orlando again sometime soon. I miss going

  3. Hi Mark,
    I worked the first couple of Beatlefests (when you still caalled them Beatlefest) with my ex=husband Charlie Miller – remember us?
    Hope to come by in February and say hello! Never thought 40 years later you would still have this going on. You had a partner Irwin Beer I think….?
    Well, glad you found a life in doing this…best wishes.
    Lil Miller

  4. Dear Mark- My wife Susan and I attended the first two conventions and we were the winners of the trivia contest for the first convention – something which I mentioned to you a few years ago and you said you remembered. I cannot wait to buy tickets for the coming NY Fest to help celebrate the anniversary of the Fabs coming to America and of the 40th anniversary of your wonderful get-together. I will be there next year with my youngest daughter, Julie, to enjoy the event and hope for a special Fab or two to show up, hopefully! Good luck to you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.