The Beatles live: Milwaukee Arena, Wisconsin

The Beatles performed a single show at this venue in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA – their only such performance in the state.

The Beatles’ aeroplane landed at Milwaukee County Airport (now called Mitchell International Airport) in the afternoon, and was met by around 700 fans.

Fifty police officers and 30 county deputies had difficulty restraining the fans, despite makeshift fences being erected, and officers with fire hoses stood by. At one point around 100 fans broke through the cordon and rushed towards an approaching plane.

The Beatles were taken to the National Guard headquarters on the east side of Mitchell Field, away from the crowd, leaving behind hundreds of disappointed fans. They were then driven by limousine to the Coach House Motor Inn.

The police told us we couldn’t go past. It’s mean not to let ’em have a wave. It’s a lousy deal, a dirty trick.
Paul McCartney

Poster for The Beatles in Milwaukee, 4 September 1964

At the hotel a press conference was held; John Lennon was suffering from a sore throat so didn’t take part.

Tickets were priced at $2.50, $3.50, $4.50 and $5.50, and had gone on sale in April 1964. Within a week all 12,000 had sold out. Also on the bill were The Bill Black Combo, The Exciters, Clarence ‘Frogman’ Henry, and Jackie DeShannon.

Security was tight around the arena, as the Milwaukee authorities feared the effects of Beatlemania. During the show the Red Cross posted 18 people around the venue, armed with ammonia and other inhalants, and treated at least 10 fainting girls.

The Beatles performed their usual 30-minute set, arriving on stage shortly after 9pm. They played ‘Twist And Shout’, ‘You Can’t Do That’, ‘All My Loving’, ‘She Loves You’, ‘Things We Said Today’, ‘Roll Over Beethoven’, ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’, ‘If I Fell’, ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’, ‘Boys’, ‘A Hard Day’s Night’, and ‘Long Tall Sally’.

After the show fans assembled outside the Coach House Motor Inn, on West Wisconsin Avenue and 19th Street, where The Beatles were staying. Some stood in front of the building all night, but were mostly well behaved. Inside the hotel the band ate dinner and were given antibiotic shots to alleviate their colds.

The next morning fans invaded their suite and took all available mementos of The Beatles’ stay.

Last updated: 24 January 2024
The Beatles live: State Fair Coliseum, Indianapolis
The Beatles live: International Amphitheatre, Chicago
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