Venues and Concert Halls Around The World

Melbourne, Victoria - The Festival Hall

Story and pictures by Chris Jarvis of Ballarat, Victoria, Australia

Our Australian correspondent says :
"I was in Melbourne last week and I parked just near the FESTIVAL HALL, where the Beatles appeared in 1964. I had the digital camera with me so I took about a dozen photos (see samples shown). I'm sure you have heard the bootlegs of the Melbourne shows but I thought you might like to see what the venue looked like. It has not really changed in appearance since 1964 when the Beatles appeared for 3 nights (15th - 17th June), giving 2 shows each day. Dudley Street, where Festival Hall is located, was however a quiet street back in 1964 but now a freeway runs past it. It is still used for live shows but is no longer a major venue like it was 37 years ago !"

Chris continues,
"The photo you see below is the Southern Cross hotel. This is the hotel the Beatles stayed in when they came to Melbourne in 1964.
They came out on to the balcony you can see just above street level in the photo and waved to about 20,000 people that were jamming the whole street below.
I took the photo because they are now pulling it down and in a couple of months another Beatle memory will be gone ! In January the plans for the redevelopment of the site were published in the Melbourne papers ... another huge hotel complex is planned."
On Sunday June 14th 1964 the Beatles arrived in Melbourne on a chartered flight from Adelaide for a 3 night concert engagement with 2 shows each night. About 45,000 people saw the six performances, and the last show was taped for television by Channel 9 and broadcast in Australia on 1st July from 7:30 to 8:30. Brian Epstein had originally agreed to 10 minutes being broadcast, but after he had seen a preview he was so pleased with it he allowed 22 minutes (the rest of the broadcast was made up with Australian music acts).

The performances included, "I Saw Her Standing There", "You Can't Do That", "All My Loving", "She Loves You", "Till There Was You", Roll Over Beethoven", Can't Buy Me Love", Twist And Shout" and "Long Tall Sally".

There were chaotic scenes outside the Southern Cross Hotel (on the corner of Bourke and Exhibition Streets) when the Beatles appeared on the balcony just above street level. Exhibition Street was blocked by an estimated 20,000 screaming fans. John allegedly gave Nazi salutes to the crowd.

Inside the hotel the Beatles were reunited with Ringo who had flown in with Brian Epstein that morning.
Jimmy Nicol packed his bag and left the next day.

The Southern Cross then, is the ONLY hotel to play host to ALL FIVE Beatles .... so it plays an interesting part in their history.

Also, an E.M.I. reception was held at the Southern Cross Hotel the following day and John Lennon flew into a rage when he saw the altered Australian cover for the "With The Beatles" album.

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