Hundreds of Beatles fans got a ticket to ride back to the 1960s as tribute artists rocked mop-tops in honor of one of the most famous bands in history.
More than 40 bands crowded the harbor, reliving Beatles songs at the five-day-long Abbey Road on the River festival. While some honored the Liverpool boys’ distinct style, others donned skinny jeans and T-shirts or fishnet tights, adding a 21st century flair to the classic pop-rock theme.
Abbey Road on the River brings fans together for a Beatles reprise twice yearly: Memorial Day weekend in Louisville, Ky. and Labor Day weekend in the District. Founded in 2002, it is the largest festival in the world dedicated to the Beatles.
For the last decade, fans have traveled to the festival from all over the country to honor the legendary band whose appeal spans generations.
“This concert is really for everyone,” Erica Sanchez, a 23-year-old festival attendee, said. “I mean, who doesn’t like the Beatles?”
Songwriter Misty Perholtz of Cincinnati-based band The Newbees has played at the festival with her bandmates twice a year for the last four years. She said her first memory of the Beatles was of seeing the “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album cover.
“It was just psychedelic and weird and wild,” Perholtz said.
The Newbees played fan favorites such as “Hello, Goodbye” and “I Wanna Hold Your Hand,” while other bands mixed up the festival with less popular deep cuts.
“We really do love each other and look forward to seeing each other every year,” Perholtz said, adding that the tight-knit community of artists and fans encourage her to participate each year.
David Rashotte of Ontario, Canada saw the Beatles in 1966 at the Maple Leaf Garden in Toronto. He and his wife have attended the festival twice before to see his brother Mark perform as lead guitarist for the cover band All You Need is Love.
“It’s interesting to see the different takes on the different songs,” his wife, Evonne Rashotte, said.