1974 – The first Beatles Convention is held in Boston.
A Brief History of THE FEST FOR BEATLES FANS.
Many people ask how THE FEST got started, so I thought I would tell a brief history:
John Lennon with Harry Nilsson in NY 1974
I, Mark Lapidos, was always a big Beatles fan and thought that somebody should do something to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of The Beatles arrival in America – 1964-1974. It was at the end of 1973, when the idea of BEATLEFEST just popped into my head. After a few months ot deliberating I decided to take my personal savings and book the New York Commodore Hotel for the weekend of September 7-8, 1974.
I wasn’t going to do the convention without the Beatles permission. I didn’t think that would be right. On April 28th, 1974, I met with John Lennon in a New York City hotel room, told him my whole idea of a Beatles Fans Convention, with Films, Special Guests, Live Concerts, Art Museum and Art Contest, Flea Market, Discussions, Look-Alike and Sound-Alike Contests, Auctions, and a Charity Raffle. John’s exact response was “I’m all for it. I’m a Beatles Fan, too!” It is a moment I will never ever forget. He said he had a guitar in his attic that he would sign and donate for the Charity Raffle, which he did (John chose a drug rehab center in NYC as the charity). All the Beatles contributed signed items to that raffle and to our amazement, we made the Cover of Rolling Stone, October 24, 1974.
From there, we started to get letters from all over the country asking us to bring the convention to their cities. We went to LA in 1976 and have been back 24 times. Chicago’s first FEST was in 1977 and our 32nd Annual Celebration takes place August 8-10, 2008 at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare. Chicago has grown to be our biggest (and many say the best) FEST of them all. Perhaps it is because it is in the Summer and Fans from almost 40 states and 4 continents attend. Other people say the NEW YORK METRO FEST that is coming March 28-30, 2008 Meadowlands is their favorite.
We have also been to Philadelphia, San Francisco, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Seattle, Orlando and Boston. This will be our 2nd show June 29 – July 1, 2008 in Las Vegas at the Mirage!
Our Mail Order business began very modestly in the late 1970s and has grown into the World’s Largest Beatles Mail Order Catalogue. In the past few years we have put the entire catalogue onto our secure website www.thefestforbeatlesfans.com and we now sell more than 1,000 licensed Beatles items, CDs, Videos, Books, Clothes, and much more. We have customers in every state and at least 25 countries.