Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band: Liverpool announces plans to celebrate Beatles album's 50th anniversary

Events to be held across three weeks in May and June

Roisin O'Connor@Roisin_OConnor
Thursday 23 March 2017 10:06

Liverpool has announced plans to celebrate the 50th anniversary of one of the most iconic albums in music history: Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Released on 1 June 1967, the album is regularly voted the greatest of all time.

Its 50th anniversary will be celebrated with three weeks of events around the city, and will feature an event for each of its 13 tracks.

Artistic director Sean Doran said: "It's never been done before for an album, but Sgt Pepper is something extraordinary, though there may have been many moments when we wished it had fewer tracks. It's got that grab, everyone got it, everyone was up for it."

Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson said the festival would be "thought -provoking, sometimes cheeky and always entertaining".

The festival has been named Sgt Pepper at 50: Heading for Home - it will be split into two halves - one side for each of the LP.

Side One

Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - Mark Morris Dance Group will stage the premiere of Pepperland, with a score inspired by Beatles tracks and performed by a chamber music ensemble

With a Little Help From My Friends - Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller will unveil two public art commissions on the themes of friendship and self-sacrifice

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds - French pyrotechnic specialists GroupeF and US electronic composer Scott Gibbons will put on a light show that's billed as “part performance, part storytelling and part pyro display”

Getting Better - DJ Spooky will create a performance and audio-visual installation asking whether the world is getting better

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Fixing a Hole - US artist Judy Chicago, known for her epic installations, will create her largest work yet - a mural on the side of the grain silo on Great Howard Street

She's Leaving Home - Liverpool youth theatre company 20 Stories High will take over people's living rooms in Toxteth to stage a new play about home and housing

Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite - Aintree Racecourse will host an event inspired by John Cage's anarchic Musicircus involving thousands of local people, performers and musicians

Side Two

Within You Without You - Leading Indian musicians will perform in the traditional splendour of St George's Hall to reflect the song's Indian influence

When I'm Sixty-Four - Sixty-four choirs of all ages from the city will come together to perform a mass sing-along of the track on BBC Radio Merseyside

Lovely Rita - Cabaret performer Meow Meow will lead a colourful procession featuring a 300-strong brass band up Hope Street, ending in a “thought-provoking installation”

Good Morning Good Morning - Theatres, clubs, galleries and music venues will open their doors at the crack of dawn for one day on 9 June

Reprise - An unnamed “leading artist” will perform incognito in a surprise venue, also on 9 June

A Day in the Life - Writer Frank Cottrell-Boyce and film director Carl Hunter will screen a documentary being shot over 24 hours on 1 June, the album's actual anniversary

Sir Paul McCartney has given the event his blessing, but he and the other surviving Beatle, Ringo Starr, are not expected to appear.

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