Liverpool’s International Beatleweek is set to change after this year’s festival.
Fab Four fans have been told that 2017 is the last year the annual celebration of all things Beatles will be held in its current form, and organisers will be “scaling down” the festival in the future.
Cavern City Tours, which runs the week-long event around the August Bank Holiday, says numbers attending have been falling in recent years as the band’s core fan base ages.
And along with that, key figures in the world of the Beatles, who draw crowds to hear them speak or perform at events during the festival, are also getting older – with a number now either being too infirm to travel to Liverpool, or having passed away in recent months.
Cavern director Bill Heckle said: “It’s been the biggest in the world. It’s been the most successful in the world.
“But one of the things we’ve talked about is that we’ve tried everything to attract more people.”
No final decision has been taken on what the revised event will look like, but the live music at the Cavern Club and Cavern Pub, and the Beatles Convention at the Adelphi Hotel will continue.
This year’s Beatleweek runs from August 23-29 and will celebrate both the 60th birthday of the Cavern and the 50th anniversary of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
The line-up includes the original Quarrymen, Larry Kane, Neil Innes and John Lennon’s sister Julia Baird, while venues include the Philharmonic Hall, Adelphi and Alma de Cuba.