The Beatles live: Festival Hall, Melbourne

The Beatles’ final two shows in Melbourne, Australia, took place on 17 June 1964.

In the afternoon George Harrison went driving in an MG in the Dandenong Mountains with tour organiser Lloyd Ravenscroft. Concerned with more important matters, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and Ringo Starr had their hair cut in their hotel, the Southern Cross.

This was The Beatles’ last of three consecutive nights of shows in the city’s Festival Hall, Each night they gave two concerts, which were enjoyed by a total of 45,000 people.

Cameras from the Australian Channel 9 recorded the sixth and final show of the Melbourne leg of the world tour. It was screened on 1 July 1964 as an hour-long special, The Beatles Sing For Shell, named after the oil company which sponsored the broadcast.

Nine of The Beatles’ Melbourne performances were included in the show: ‘I Saw Her Standing There’, ‘You Can’t Do That’, ‘All My Loving’, ‘She Loves You’, ‘Till There Was You’, ‘Roll Over Beethoven’, ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’, ‘Twist And Shout’, and ‘Long Tall Sally’. During the final song a male audience member rushed onto the stage to shake John Lennon’s hand.

The Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein had initially agreed to allow Channel 9 to show just 12 minutes of the performance. However, after watching the recording an hour after the show he had a change of heart and increased the limit to 20 minutes.

In the end 22 minutes of The Beatles were included, the rest of the hour being footage of Australian and international performers. The only song from the set not broadcast was ‘This Boy’. Full bootleg recordings exist of both concerts from this day.

Ringo Starr performed at the Festival Hall on 16 and 17 February 2013.

Last updated: 20 May 2024
The Beatles live: Festival Hall, Melbourne
The Beatles live: Sydney Stadium, Sydney
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