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Big changes to 2018 Liverpool International BeatleWeek

by Katie Eaton, Beatles News Liverpool Reporter

Lliverpool, England -- Bill Heckle, who is a Managing Director for Cavern City Tours, has announced big changes to next year's 2018 Liverpool International BeatleWeek due to rising costs and declining attendance. Bill spoke at the annual International BeatleWeek convention on Sunday, August 27, before a packed audience gathered in the Liverpool Adelphi main ballroom.

After 31 years, Bill Heckle announced he is stepping aside and will no longer be organizing the annual Liverpool International BeatleWeek. Managing Directors Jon Keats and Paul Jones will now be running BeatleWeek, one of the longest running and best loved Beatles conventions. This change will give Bill more time to focus on overseeing other core businesses such as the Cavern Club which celebrated its 60th anniversary in January.

Also, next year, the annual International BeatleWeek will be pared down from 6 "core" days to 4, because many attendees have work obligations and can't take a full week off. The new core days will be Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Finally, there will be fewer theatre shows produced, and Cavern City Tours has already been incorporating this change by stepping away from "producing" the show, and instead inviting an existing show such as the Brighton Beach Boys, who produced the Making of Pet Sounds last year and the Summer of Lover this year, or the Overtures to perform classic sixties British invasion song with an emphasis on a particular year, for example, 1966 last year, and 1967 this year.

Bill says these changes are needed to bring costs in line with declining revenues, due to the loss of the annual Mathew Street Festival a few years ago that generated the largest single tourist revenue of any event for Liverpool. Cavern City Tours had been organizing the very successful Mathew Street Festival for many years, but Liverpool City Council has had to make tough budget cuts. Other factors have been declining attendance due to changing demographics and the passing away of important Beatles related insiders, authors, speakers and other Beatleweek regulars.

Bill Heckle and Jon Keats at BeatleWeek 2017

Although they make it look as if the annual International BeatleWeek runs like clockwork, in fact it takes Cavern City Tours a full year to organize and put on the annual BeatleWeek which includes bringing in as many as 70 or more different Beatle and non-Beatle tribute bands. At any given time, each "core" day has as many as 6 different venues where a different band is playing, and the all night parties at the Adelphi hotel have as many as 4 different bars not including the main Adelphi ballroom each with a different band.

Throughout BeatleWeek, a different tribute band is playing hourly at 3 different stages within the Cavern Club (Front, Live Lounge and Pub) starting at 11am thru 1:30am. This year's additional venues included an "Outdoor Fete" held at St. Peter's Church field in Woolton with two different sound stages, the Alma de Cuba with an inside and outside sound stages, Pier Head and the Hard Day's Night Hotel with bands playing at two separate bars every hour.

For those who can stay longer, there will still be round the clock tribute bands featured on different stages within the Cavern Club on the non-core days before the main extended BeatleWeek festival officially starts on Friday.

This year all ticket packages with accommodations for hotel rooms were sold out weeks in advance, and attendance was up over BeatleWeek 2016. Several theatre shows were also sold out weeks in advance as well, so be sure to reserve your hotel room and ticket package now to ensure best hotel rooms and seats. Go to for more information.

To produce an annual International BeatleWeek requires a great deal of time and effort by nearly half of the Cavern City Tours office and it takes dozens of their dedicated staff and an army of employees to man each of the many venues and keep everything running. Thank you Bill Heckle, Dave Jones, Jon Keats, Julia Baird (John Lennon's sister), George Guinness, Kim Gunn and Paul Jones who are all Managing Directors for CCT and also a big thank you to all the other many hardworking Cavern City Tours employees for your hard work for the 31 years of successful BeatleWeeks!

Related articles:

• Liverpool is the Fifth Beatle says Geoff Baker (9/7/17)
• The recording engineer who told off the Beatles (9/1/17)

Published August 31, 2017

This article is Copyright © 2017, Katie Eaton, and may not be reproduced on other web sites or in print, in whole or in part, without expressed permission

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