In 1967, The Beatles flung open the windows of an apartment in Chelsea, put the needle on what was to become one of the most influential albums of all time and played it loud for all to hear.
Fifty Years later, the team behind the Sgt Pepper at 50 celebrations are encouraging fans from all over the world to recreate that moment. Whether you’re at home, in a car, if you run a business, work in an office or if you drive a taxi – wherever you are, you can be part of #LetsPlayPepper.
All you have to do is at 2pm on Thursday 1 June tune into BBC Radio Merseyside for a #Liverpoolplayspepper special, when DJ Billy Butler will be playing the album from start to finish, with live music and some special guests popping in to the studio talking about the impact the record had on their lives and where they were when it was released in 1967. You can also listen live online at www.bbc.co.uk/radiomerseyside
But regardless of where you are in the world, people old and young are being encouraged to put Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band on and turn up the volume.
Director of Culture, Claire McColgan MBE, said: “This is an invitation from Liverpool to the world to play this seminal album.
“June 1 marks the 50th anniversary of the release of Sgt. Pepper, and encouraging people from across the globe to play this album is the perfect way to mark the occasion.
“It’s a chance for Beatles fans who know and love it to enjoy each track on the record, and it’s a wonderful opportunity to introduce a whole new audience to this incredible arts album so they can discover for themselves just why Sgt Pepper received world-wide critical acclaim.
“As we embark on our exciting journey to celebrate the anniversary with an incredible programme of 13 world premiere events, #LetsPlayPepper provides the perfect soundtrack to kick-start what will be an unforgettable couple of weeks for Liverpool.”
The call out is being supported by Apple, Universal Music, BBC Music, BBC Radio Merseyside, The Beatles Story, The Cavern Club and Abbey Road Studios, along with Liverpool’s cultural organisations including Tate Liverpool, FACT and Liverpool Philharmonic.
#LetsPlayPepper forms part of Sgt Pepper at 50 which will see each track on the iconic Beatles album inspire 13 brand new events. The world premiere commissions are a mixture of large and intimate events covering the worlds of art, dance, music, poetry and theatre.
Until 16 June there will be performances, installations, live spectacle and moments of surprise across the city, as the spotlight will fall on Liverpool to celebrate their most famous sons in a way befitting of a record which broke the mould and changed music forever.
For full details of the Sgt Pepper at 50 programme please visit www.sgtpepperat50.com, or follow itsliverpool on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
About Sgt Pepper at 50: Heading for Home
Liverpool City Council is curating a unique festival which brings together world renowned artists and Liverpool-based talent, to pay homage to the 50th anniversary of what is widely regarded as the best rock and roll album of all time. Sgt Pepper at 50: Heading for Home will use each track on the iconic Beatles album as the creative springboard for 13 brand new events.
Conceptually driven by notable Artistic Directors Sean Doran and Liam Browne, the festival runs from Thursday 25 May until Friday 16 June and will see the involvement of international names such as GroupeF (the organisation behind several Olympic and Paralympic closing ceremonies), Mark Morris Dance Group (one of the world’s leading dance companies), Judy Chicago (iconic American feminist artist), John Cage (one of the American greats of experimental music), Jeremy Deller (Turner Prize winning conceptual artist), author Frank Cottrell-Boyce, DJ Spooky (American composer) as well some of the very best Indian musicians in the world such as Grammy award winner Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt.
The events will take place at locations across the city, including Liverpool’s Royal Court, Hope Street, Woolton Picture House, Camp Hill, Tate Liverpool, St George’s Hall and Aintree Racecourse.
The festival has been made possible with National Lottery investment of £750,000 from Arts Council England’s Ambition for Excellence scheme.