Live: Riverpark Ballroom, Chester

7.30pm, Thursday 16 August 1962 (51 years ago)

The Beatles played at the Riverpark Ballroom in Chester on four Thursdays in the summer of 1962. This was the first show.

It should have been a straightforward engagement, but earlier in the day Pete Best had been sacked from The Beatles by manager Brian Epstein. Although earlier in the day Best had said he would fulfil this booking, he understandably later changed his mind.

The Beatles drafted in The Big Three’s drummer Johnny Hutchinson as a temporary replacement, for this show and the following evening’s performances at the Majestic Ballroom in Birkenhead and the Tower Ballroom in New Brighton, Wallasey. Ringo Starr‘s first official show with The Beatles was at Hulme Hall in Birkenhead on 18 August 1962.

The group’s other performances at the venue were on 23 and 30 August, and 13 September 1962.

The building, at 2 Union Street, Chester, was originally the King’s Arms Tavern. In the early 20th century it was enlarged and became the Grosvenor Skating Rink, then the Broadway Dancing Academy Ballroom, known as the Ack. In the 1950s it was renamed the Riverpark Ballroom, but closed in 1963 and was later demolished. It is now the site of a bank’s office.

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