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Beatles weekend tickets on sale Saturday

By Lindsey Harren

Tickets for Belleville’s annual Beatles celebration in October will be go on sale Saturday.

The Empire Beatles Weekend, taking place Oct. 18th to 19th, includes local band All You Need Is Love. Empire Theatre owner Mark Rashotte is a member and one of the lead singers the six-piece band.

“Beatles music connects with so many generations because it is well crafted, lyrically and methodically,” says Andy Forgie, founder lead singer with the band.

“I was infatuated with it,” says Forgie, after watching the Beatles debut on the Ed Sullivan show. “I don’t know if there is anything since, before or after that can match that.”

The event is important for local business surrounding the Empire Theatre.

“Everyone loves the good impact that Beatles Weekend has,” says Jackie Middleton, Comfort Inn Sales Coordinator.

Middleton expects the Empire Beatles Weekend will fill more than 25 rooms during the weekend. She expects 40 to 50 guests a night staying for the event.  People from the United States come to Belleville for this event.

“The Empire Beatles Weekend is much more intimate than many of the bigger fests, and concentrates more than some festivals do on the music of The Beatles as presented through the various musicians and bands performing,” says Peter Conrad, from “The Traveling Beatleburys, in an email from Ohio.

“All of the bands playing this years’ Weekend all know each other, and there’s a great camaraderie and a whole lotta love for each other, both as musicians and as friends. The audience will see, hear, and feel the love that we all have for each other, for The Beatles, and for the audience,” he says.

Of the nine acts listed for this year, three are local. Belleville bands include Ed’s Garage, Big Black Smoke and All You Need Is Love.