|The First West Coast Beatles Fan Convention|
July 17 & 18, 1976 - Seattle, WA
The convention attracted fans and dealers from Europe, Canada, and the U.S. In all, more than 2000 people attended the two day show. Admission for both days was $25.00, considered by some to be high at the time - but the convention planning and design was first rate - no expenses were spared. A deluxe advance ticket packet included complete convention information with detailed maps, buttons, a bumper sticker, record price guide, photos, and other items. Students received a 20% discount as well. The convention hours were 10 am to 2:00 am each day, a total of 32 hours. At one point a staff of 40 people were employed, including many volunteers.
Unfortunately, the promoters did not fare too well financially. Although the show grossed more than $30,000, it cost about $55,000 to put it on. Tens of thousands of dollars was spent on advertising, from radio and newspapers to magazines such as Creem and Rolling Stone. Custom business cards and posters were printed as well. Thousands of flyers were made and distributed all over Seattle. Everything was elaborately designed and professionally printed on the best paper stock. A couple of thousand bumper stickers (pictured above) were made and stuck here, there, and everywhere.
Nevertheless, the show was very successful in many other ways. Many of the dealers had stated that it was their best show ever. A limited edition special first pressing of the George Harrison bootleg LP, "Cry for a Shadow" (LP# 2317438, look up the number) was custom made for the convention and quickly sold out. With over 40 hours of films, plus auctions, live entertainment, live radio broadcasts, the flea market, contests, guest speakers, and much more, the fans had a great time.
(Note: The FIRST ever U.S. Beatles fan convention was held by Joe Pope, "Strawberry Fields Forever" fanzine editor, in Boston in 1974, and was called "Magical Mystery Tour". Continually to this day, Beatle conventions are as popular as ever, some drawing nearly 10,000 attendees...The most popular U.S. shows, Beatlefest, are held annually in Los Angeles (usually Thanksgiving weekend), Chicago (mid-August) and New York (mid-March).
|Convention program ad for the "Cry For A Shadow" LP, and admission ticket|