Monday, 16 June 2014

1964: The Beatles in Sydney

To mark the 50th Anniversary of The Beatles Australian Tour, I managed to scour through the archives of The Sydney Morning Herald online and share some of the photos as taken by photographers at the paper.

The "Fab Four" arrived on cold and windy day at Sydney Airport on June 11 1964 where large crowds braved the elements to greet them. Sydney was the first stop on their tour of Australia and New Zealand. They did not perform that day and flew to Adelaide the next day to present their first set of concerts before heading to Melbourne.

On June 18, The Beatles returned to Sydney. They performed six concerts over three nights at the Sydney Stadium, Rushcutters Bay performing to a combined crowd of about 40-50 000 people (conservative figure but could be 60 000). The image below was taken from the first two concerts. We think young girls go crazy for groups like One Direction but that was nothing compared to this. Imagine a young girl hearing this today from their grandmother.

And they attracted big crowds to their hotel at Kings Cross (Sheraton Hotel, Macleay Street) hoping to score a glimpse of the group. This was taken on June 18, 1964. Police were stretched to the limit in controlling the crowds.

I also came across a newsreel which documents their visit to Sydney. It also includes footage of their visit to Adelaide, where crowds of 350 000 welcomed them to the city (They believe it was half the population of the city at that time).