When the Beatles Visited the Sunderland Empire, 60 years ago this February

1963 was an absolutely rollercoaster year for the world. The swinging sixties were underway. Martin Luther King Jr. issued his “I have a dream speech”, John F. Kennedy was assassinated, Dr. Who first aired on British television and the Vietnam War began to commence.

Amongst it all was the golden era of the most iconic band in history: The Beatles. Its staggering to think that Paul McCartney just reached his golden 80th birthday last year, yet here he was in his ultimate prime as Beatlemania swept the nation, and on February of that year where did they come and perform? Sunderland.

On 9 February 1963, the Beatles visited Wearside to perform at the Sunderland Empire Theatre. Staying at the former Grand Hotel on Bridge Street, this would be one of two occasions they frequented the town in that year, met of course with a sellout crowd of young people.

Many of these mostly young women are now our nanas and grandmas today! During the concert, the Beatles Official website tells us they played 10 songs, including: “‘I Saw Her Standing There’, ‘From Me To You’, ‘All My Loving’, ‘You Really Got A Hold On Me’, ‘Roll Over Beethoven’, ‘Boys’, ‘Till There Was You’, ‘She Loves You’, ‘Money (That’s What I Want)’ and ‘Twist And Shout’.”