If you're a Beatles fan or even if you're not and just want to immerse yourself in a rock 'n' roll weekend, you've got to check out the Fest For Beatles Fans April 1-3 at the Hyatt Regency on the Hudson in Jersey City.

Photo Provided by Mark Lapidos
Photo Provided by Mark Lapidos

I've been going to these for years and for me it's the total experience of Beatles fandom. Everything you've ever wanted Beatlewise is all right there. It's nothing to be walking down the hall and hearing makeshift bands playing songs from the Fab Four.

Mark Lapidos with Ringo, Photo Provided by Mark Lapidos
Mark Lapidos with Ringo, Photo Provided by Mark Lapidos

They have the world's largest Beatles marketplace where you can pretty much get anything you want Beatles and really cool stuff you didn't even know existed but now have to have, a Beatles Museum, an auction of rare items, an art gallery.

There's also a concert stage where "Liverpool" the house band featuring Jersey's one Glen Burtnik performs all three nights. No one plays the Beatles like a band that involves Glen Burtnik as those who have seen his shows will attest.

Photo Provided by Mark Lapidos
Photo Provided by Mark Lapidos

There's also a dance party dress-up and a look-alike contest.

One of the many special guests at this year's Fest For Beatles fans is "Get Back" director Peter Jackson, who will be zooming in live from New Zealand and taking fan questions.

Other special guests include Gregg Bissonette (Ringo Starr’s touring drummer), Laurence Juber (Wings), British Invasion legend Billy J. Kramer, Beatles historian and author Mark Lewisohn presenting a fascinating illustrated talk about The Beatles’ time in India, former Apple employee Chris O’Dell (she was at the famed Rooftop Concert), Don Dannemann (opened for The Beatles with his band, The Cyrkle in 1966), and more.

Left: Laurence Juber Right: Billy J. Kramer, Photo Provided by Mark Lapidos
Left: Laurence Juber Right: Billy J. Kramer, Photo Provided by Mark Lapidos

I spoke with Mark Lapidos who started the Fest for Beatles Fans back in 1974:

How did the Fest For Beatles Fans get started?

"I went directly to John Lennon for support back in 1974. Told him about the idea and he said to me, “I’m all for it. I'm a Beatles fan, too!"

What keeps The Fest For Beatles Fans going so strong after all these years?

"The fans and enduring love of The Beatles."

What is it about the Beatles that we can never get enough?

"It's the greatest music ever recorded!"

What's your "coolest ever moment" at The Fest?

"Far too many. Presenting Mal Evans, Klaus Vooormann, Donovan. Billy Preston, Cynthia, Pattie, and so many more."

Who was your favorite all-time guest? Least favorite?

"It's hard to narrow it down but I'd say, Donovan."

You've got Peter Jackson joining in on Zoom, Did you see "Get Back?" What did you think of it?

"Yes, I definitely saw it. I'd rate it a solid 11 out of 10! We are very honored to have Peter join us live by Zoom to discuss Get Back."

How long will there be a Fest for Beatles Fans”?

"It's been going 48 years and counting!! So who knows?!?"

For as long as there is, I'll be there. If you want to go, click here.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise only. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.

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