Attractions and venues across Liverpool are coming together this week to celebrate what would have been the 80th birthday of John Lennon. 

On Friday 9th October, John would have turned 80 and as the home of the Fab Four, Liverpool couldn’t let the occasion go by unmarked. Celebrations have been scaled down this year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and social distancing rules but there is still the chance for visitors and fans to celebrate and pay their respects to John. 

We have rounded up everything that is happening for his birthday celebrations below but there are still a few more surprises to keep an eye out for. 

On the day, there will also be some special coverage on our social media channels so make sure you’re following VisitLiverpool and #JohnLennon80 so you don’t miss it! 


THE BEATLES STORY


The Beatles Story is the world’s largest permanent exhibition dedicated to telling the story of the lives and careers of the Fab Four. Not only is this year their 30th anniversary but they will also be celebrating what would have been John Lennon’s 80th birthday with something special too. 

Award-winning, The Beatles Story will display a new photographic exhibition titled ‘Sgt. Pepper Way’, showcasing previously unseen images of John Lennon to celebrate what would have been his 80th birthday on October 9th 2020. The black and white photographs captured Lennon at the ‘Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band on the Road’ theatre show at The Beacon Theatre, New York on October 17, 1974, and have never before been on public display. In the snapshots, which have remained unseen for over 45 years, Lennon can be seen changing the name of West 74th street on Broadway to SGT. PEPPER WAY, sitting at an organ and relaxing in a dark velvet suit, top hat and ‘ELVIS’ lapel badge. The photographs were all taken by Robert Deutsch who worked as a freelance photographer in New York during the 1970/80s. Find out more on their website


STRAWBERRY FIELD


Strawberry Field is what inspired John Lennon to write The Beatles hit Strawberry Fields Forever and they have plenty planned to help mark his 80th birthday. 

To celebrate, the world-famous piano that John Lennon used to compose and record, 'Imagine' one of the great peace anthems of the 20th century will be on display at Strawberry Field. Find out more about the piano on their website

On 9th October, Strawberry Field will be giving visitors the opportunity to reflect and remember John Lennon on what would have been his 80th birthday by launching ‘Peace Pebbles’. Visitors will be invited to leave a pebble in the gardens, with a short message of peace, love or hope. After John’s birthday, the pebbles will remain as a temporary installation in the gardens, adding to the visitor experience. 

Alongside the pebbles, the team at Strawberry Field will be dedicating a stone on Strawberry Lane to John and will be inviting visitors to do the same. Strawberry Lane is a path that runs from the iconic red gates at Strawberry Field to the front of the visitor centre. Visitors have the chance to purchase a stone and inscribe on it a message that will be part of Strawberry Field forever. 

By choosing to inscribe a stone for Strawberry Lane, you are helping to keep the gates of Strawberry Field open. The sale of the stones go towards funding the Steps To Work programme at Strawberry Field and help to keep the visitor centre open, for the good of the community and the visitors that come from all over the world to experience this place that meant alot to John Lennon. 

The team at Strawberry Field have also launched the ‘People of Peace’ Awards and are on the search for the Liverpool’s most inspirational ‘People of Peace’. It’s a unique way of celebrating the legacy of John Lennon, and encouraging peace, which John often spoke about. 

Do you know somebody who has been promoting or enabling peace in their community? Do they display particular personal characteristics which make them a ‘Person of Peace’? If so, now is your chance to nominate them for this inaugural award. For more information on the ‘People of Peace’ awards visit the Strawberry Field website

Strawberry Field are also inviting people from across the world to join them at Midday on October 9th to ‘Imagine Peace’ together. The team have created a short video highlighting ‘Prayers For Peace’ written by people from different countries across the world. The prayers will be displayed through the gardens at Strawberry Field and they are inviting you to send in your own Prayer for Peace that can be added to the collection. Join them on social media at Midday on 9th October and send in your prayer by heading to the Strawberry Field website. 

(John Lennon's sister, Julia Baird with the 'Imagine' piano on loan to Liverpool's Strawberry Field exhibition to mark what would have been John's 80th birthday courtesy of the estate of the late George Michael. Photo credit - Ant Clausen)


HARD DAYS NIGHT HOTEL


The Hard Days Night Hotel is the world’s only Beatles inspired hotel. Located in the heart of Liverpool’s Beatles Quarter on the corner of Mathew Street it’s the perfect place to stay for fans of The Beatles. 

To commemorate John Lennon’s 80th birthday on 9th October, Hard Days Night Hotel are doing lots to celebrate.

For the weekend of the 9th to the 11th October, all guests checking in will be given a special Hard Days Night welcome and invited to try some complimentary chocolate cake upon arrival. Over this weekend there will also be a gallery of art work featuring John Lennon on display and a brand new Brandy Alexander Cocktail added to the drinks menu for you to enjoy. 

As part of the celebrations Hard Days Night Hotel will also be launching their Imagine Package. This will include a stay in the Lennon Suite, a full English breakfast and their brand new John Lennon 80 Afternoon Tea. The package is available to book from 9th October to 31st March 2021 and reservations are only available direct with the hotel by phoning 0151 236 1964.

If you just fancy celebrating for the afternoon then their commemorative John Lennon 80 Afternoon Tea will be available from 9th October to 30th November too. It features a special chocolate cake, which was John’s favourite, and can be upgraded to include their new Brandy Alexander cocktail too. 

For more information on booking a stay at the Hard Days Night Hotel and their social distancing measures please visit their website


MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR


The Cavern Club is unfortunately closed to the public but they will still be commemorating John Lennon’s 80th birthday this year with their own celebrations. 

The Magical Mystery Tour will be running a special one-off sightseeing tour to celebrate the life and music of one of Liverpool’s greatest songwriters. The 3-hour ‘In My Life - John Lennon 80’ sightseeing tour will take you to places associated with John Lennon as he grew up and formed the world’s biggest band - The Beatles. The Cavern’s expert guide will paint the picture of John Lennon’s childhood and teenage years, growing up in post-war Liverpool. With photo opportunities along the way, the tour will include a visit to Strawberry Field’s Peace Garden where visitors can see the original gates. Tickets for the tour are on sale now and can be found on the Cavern Club’s website

Visitors should check out the ‘Know Before You Go’ information on the Cavern club’s website to see what covid-safe measures have been put in place for the tour. 


THE ART OF JOHN AND YOKO


Join broadcaster and former BBC Radio Merseyside legend Roger Philips and Beatles expert and lecturer Dr Holly Tessler from the University of Liverpool on Friday 9th October to celebrate John Lennon’s birthday. 

In this specially commissioned online event, Roger and Holly will discuss John’s unique talent as a musician, artist and songwriter, his relationship with Yoko Ono Lennon and the love for his home city of Liverpool. 

The event will take place online from 1pm and is free to attend but places will be limited. You can find more information and registration for the event here


All of the events planned to mark the occasion will be following strict social distancing rules. For more information on visiting Liverpool please see our Frequently Asked Questions

For more information and updates on what is happening across Liverpool follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.  


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