Exhibit recalls Aug. 20, 1964, the day the Beatles reigned in Vegas
Las Vegas is remembering the one day on which the Beatles performed together on a Sin City stage.
Joined by performers from “Love,” the Beatles-themed Cirque du Soleil show at the Mirage, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority on Tuesday (today) is to unveil a multimedia exhibit that memorializes Aug. 20, 1964, as the day Beatlemania overtook the town.
The free exhibit, displayed in the lobby of the Las Vegas Convention Center not far from the spot where the Beatles played, remembers the day through the eyes of the fans who flocked to the airport, the Sahara Hotel and the venue.
A single concert had been planned in the 700-seat Congo Room at the Sahara, but promoters — surprised by the overwhelming interest in the Fab Four — quickly booked the convention center and added a second show. Nearly 17,000 fans packed the two sold-out performances.
With a population of less than 200,000, Las Vegas was by far the smallest of the 23 U.S. cities in which John, Paul, George and Ringo performed that year.
Researchers from the Las Vegas News Bureau, the LVCVA division that curated the new exhibit, provided some interesting trivia tidbits:
— Shows were at 4 and 9 p.m. Tickets cost $2, $3, $4 and $5.
— The band received a $25,000 appearance fee plus 60% of the ticket sales.
— The Beatles eagerly greeted piano showman Liberace backstage before that evening’s performance. He then attended their concert.
— The Fab Four added “Till There Was You” to their set for the Vegas shows.
— Photos taken at the Las Vegas Convention Center graced the sleeves of the singles “She’s a Woman/I Feel Fine” and “Eight Days a Week/I Don’t Want to Spoil the Party.”
Those concerts marked the only time all four Beatles performed together in Las Vegas.
The exhibit runs through Oct. 27.
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