The 70th anniversary of John Lennon’s birth is being celebrated with a range of events around the world. Below are some of the main events taking place.
Chief among the events is the lighting of the Imagine Peace Tower on the island of Viðey in Kollafjörður Bay near Reykjavík, Iceland, at 8pm GMT.
In the evening the Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band will perform a sell-out concert at Háskólabíó, Reykjavík, which will be dedicated to John Lennon. Ringo Starr and George Harrison’s widow Olivia are rumoured to be attending the event.
Prior to lighting the tower, which will remain illuminated until 9 December 2010, Yoko Ono will present awards to people chosen for their contributions to world peace. The Lennon Ono Grant for Peace was created in 2002, and this year’s recipients will be filmmaker Josh Fox, writer Michael Pollan, food safety campaigner Barbara Kowalcyk, and writer Alice Walker.
In Liverpool, Lennon’s birthplace, his son Julian will unveil the John Lennon Peace Monument in the city’s Chevasse Park. The 18ft monument has been created by American artist Lauren Voiers and was brought to Liverpool by the Beatles Story museum.
The John Lennon Tribute Season will also officially begin in Liverpool. A spectacular outdoor projection will mark the beginning of the season, which ends with Lennon Remembered, a tribute concert at the Echo Arena, on 9 December.
The projection will illuminate the Albert Dock with an image of Lennon, taken by photographer Bill Zygmant, each night until 23 October.
A recreation of Lennon and Ono’s famous 1969 bed-ins will take place at Liverpool’s Bluecoat arts centre. The event is supported by a video contribution from Ono. There will be 62 occupants over a period of 62 days, the first of which will be performance artist Hayley Newman and UK-based “cultural resistance collective of one” The Vacuum Cleaner.
Also in Liverpool, at the Philharmonic Hall, John Wilson will conduct the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in an evening of Lennon’s songs, also featuring Claire Martin, Curtis Stigers and Mark McGann.
The Cavern Club, where it all began for The Beatles, will stage a sold-out 70th Birthday Celebration concert from 5pm, featuring various tribute acts. There will also be a daily tribute to Lennon at the Cavern between 9 October and 9 December.
The Quarrymen, Lennon’s first group, will perform a birthday concert for Lennon at the Society For Ethical Culture at 2 West 64th Street, New York City. The event is titled Happy Birthday John!, and will feature special guests.
There will also be a screening of LENNONYC at 7pm at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park. Lou Reed will join director Michael Epstein and radio broadcaster Dennis Elsas to introduce the documentary about Lennon’s life.
Following the screening, Beatles tribute artist Shannon McDonald will create a painting of Lennon in the window of the 25CPW Gallery, 25 Central Park West and 62nd Street. An exhibition of her work will be showing until Tuesday 12 October.
Between midday and 2pm a celebration will take place at John Lennon’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame outside the Capitol Records tower, 1750 N Vine Street, Hollywood. A number of musicians will perform songs by Lennon.
At the Grammy Museum from 2-4pm, the authors of Recording The Beatles, Kevin Ryan and Brian Kehew, will take part in a panel discussion. Entry is restricted to museum members.
John Lennon time capsules
Three authorised time capsules will be sealed at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Liverpool John Moores University, and in Reykjavík, Iceland. The boxes will contain more than 100 contributions from fans worldwide, a John Lennon Signature Box containing his solo back catalogue, a John Lennon Box Of Vision, other artefacts, and six sealed notes by Yoko Ono.
The capsules are to be opened at a ceremony due to take place on 9 October 2040, the centenary of Lennon’s birth.
Also on this day...
- 2020: Celebrations take place for John Lennon’s 80th birthday
- 2017: New book! Riding So High – The Beatles and Drugs
- 2015: Ringo Starr live at Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Vancouver, BC, Canada
- 2013: Paul McCartney live at Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, New York
- 2011: Sir Paul McCartney marries Nancy Shevell
- 2010: Photograph of John Lennon is projected onto Liverpool’s Albert Dock
- 2010: Yoko Ono requests a million tweets for John Lennon
- 2009: Yoko Ono unveils Imagine Peace Tower in Second Life
- 2000: Tributes for John Lennon’s 60th birthday
- 1998: Yoko Ono dedicates a tree to John Lennon in Strawberry Fields
- 1990: Imagine is broadcast around the world
- 1988: John Lennon tributes are broadcast on US television
- 1985: Strawberry Fields is opened in Central Park, New York City
- 1984: Yoko Ono donates $90,000 to Strawberry Field in Liverpool
- 1981: John Lennon statue is unveiled in Los Angeles
- 1980: John Lennon’s 40th birthday
- 1979: John Lennon’s 39th birthday party, Tavern On The Green, New York
- 1978: John Lennon’s 38th birthday party, Tavern On The Green, New York
- 1976: John Lennon’s 36th birthday
- 1975: Sean Lennon is born
- 1971: John Lennon’s all-star 31st birthday party in Syracuse, New York
- 1971: Yoko Ono’s art exhibition This Is Not Here opens in Syracuse, New York
- 1970: Recording: Remember by John Lennon
- 1970: John Lennon sees his father Alf for the final time
- 1969: Yoko Ono is taken to hospital in London
- 1968: Recording, mixing: The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill, Long Long Long, Why Don’t We Do It In The Road
- 1967: John Lennon’s 27th birthday
- 1966: John Lennon celebrates his 26th birthday in Spain
- 1965: The Beatles celebrate John Lennon’s 25th birthday
- 1964: Live: Gaumont Cinema, Bradford
- 1963: Radio: The Ken Dodd Show
- 1962: The Beatles promote Love Me Do in London
- 1961: John Lennon celebrates his 21st birthday with Paul McCartney in Paris
- 1960: Live: Kaiserkeller, Hamburg
- 1956: John Lennon’s 16th birthday
- 1940: John Lennon is born
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.