Beatles 50th anniversary events revealed
A series of events were being unveiled today to celebrate 50 years since the formation of the Beatles.
John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison were joined in August 1962 by drummer Ringo Starr, who replaced Pete Best, to become the Fab Four.
Two months later their first single Love Me Do was released and Beatlemania swept across the world.
Liverpool Council will unveil plans for a series of anniversary events later today at the city's Cavern Club.
The council has joined forces with organisations across the city to put together a programme of events designed to attract Beatles fans from the UK and abroad.
The highlights include International Beatles Week, in August, which will mark the 50th anniversary with music and fans from all over the world descending on the city.
Tribute gigs, guest speakers and the world's biggest Beatles convention will all take place.
Further concert performances will take place on Love Me Do Weekend in October and thousands are expected to attend a peace vigil in December on the 32nd anniversary of Lennon's murder.
There will also be stage shows at the city's Epstein Theatre, named in honour of Beatles manager Brian Epstein, and performances by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.
Leader of Liverpool city council, Councillor Joe Anderson, said: "This is a hugely significant year in the history of the Beatles and it's one Liverpool couldn't let pass by without a huge celebration.
"We should never underestimate the power of The Beatles to attract visitors to the city, and this year-long celebration will bring even more fans to Liverpool which will bring a much-needed boost to our local economy."
The Beatles were one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music.
After their break-up in 1970, the Fab Four each found success in individual musical careers.
In 1980, Lennon was shot dead in New York. Harrison died of cancer in 2001. McCartney, who was knighted in the 1997 New Year Honours, made number three in the album charts earlier this month with Kisses on the Bottom. Starr also continues to perform.
Today's launch event takes place at the Cavern Club, Mathew Street, Liverpool, from 9am.