Live: Azena Ballroom, Sheffield

8.00pm, Tuesday 2 April 1963 (51 years ago)

This was The Beatles’ third concert in Sheffield, Yorkshire. They performed two sets at the Azena Ballroom.

Setlist from The Beatles' appearance at the Azena Ballroom, Sheffield, 2 April 1963The group had been booked by Sheffield promoter Peter Stringfellow, who later became a well-known London-based nightclub owner. Stringfellow had been quoted a charge of £65 to book the group; Brian Epstein later tried to put the price up to £90 due to The Beatles’ chart success with the Please Please Me album, but they eventually settled on a compromise of £85.

The Beatles were originally to have appeared at Stringfellow’s Black Cat Club, at St Aidens Church Hall on Sheffield’s City Road, but police advised that it be moved because of the large crowds expected. The night’s hire cost for the Azena was £29.

Stringfellow sold 2,000 tickets for the show, well in excess of the Azena’s 500 person capacity. Predictably there were chaotic scenes both inside and outside the venue, with a number of people turned away. Tickets were initially four shillings, rising to five shillings nearer the day of the concert.

The setlist was written by Paul McCartney on the back of a Parlophone postcard. It was picked up backstage after the concert by the drummer of support band The Aidens.

The building which once housed the Azena is now a supermarket. The Beatles are said to have autographed a backstage wall at the Azena, with their signatures still remaining on a wall in the building.

This concert was initially thought to have taken place on 12 February 1963; however, later evidence suggests it was, in fact, 2 April of that year. Additionally, a poster featuring The Beatles’ ‘drop-T’ logo, and the 12 February date, is known to be a fake.

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