8th August 1963

The Beatles played at Candie Gardens

The Beatles played two concerts at the Pavillion in Candie Gardens on 8 August 1963. They were in the middle of a four-concert run on Jersey at the time and had popped across to entertain their neighbours on Guernsey.

The “fab” four travelled between the islands by plane, trusting that their equipment would follow on the ferry. The Guernsey concerts kicked off at 7pm and 9.15pm respectively, and there were four tiers of tickets, all bookable through the Guernsey Press. They cost 17 shillings and sixpence, fifteen shillings, twelve shillings and sixpence, and ten shillings.

After the concert, John Lennon met up with his friend Royston Ellis, who he knew from Liverpool. Ellis was working as an engineer and had taken a flat on the island. Various accounts claim this moment was the origin of the Beatles song Polythene Pam, which appears on the Abbey Road album. Why? Some say that Ellis’ girlfriend, Stephanie, dressed in polythene for John’s amusement.

There is now a plaque commemorating the concert in Candie Gardens. The following year, the Rolling Stones also played St Peter Port.

The Beatles in 1963

1963 was a big year for the Beatles. Although they had been playing together for several years and had released their first single in 1962, it was the year they recorded and sold their first albums.

The band’s debut album, Please Please Me, was famously recorded in a single day but remained in the charts for more than six months. Their next seventeen singles reached the number one position in the UK charts.

After 30 months at the top of the album chart, Please Please Me was finally topped… by the group’s own follow-up album, With the Beatles, which had already attracted more than 270,000 advanced orders.

The tour of the Channel Islands thus came not only at the start of the band’s commercial career, but also at a moment of extraordinary commercial success.


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Other events that occured in August

The Saumarez Memorial foundation stone was laid 1st
Guernsey won double-silver at the Commonwealth Games 2nd
Earl Grey was appointed Governor of Guernsey 3rd
A boy scout fell 250ft over a Torteval Cliff 4th
Jethou tenant was rescued from an up-turned boat 5th
A tomato ship and a tanker collided 6th
Human remains were found on Lihou 7th
The Beatles played at Candie Gardens 8th
The RAF bombed Guernsey Airport 9th
Guernesiais linguist Marie de Garis died 10th
Alderney experienced a total eclipse of the sun 11th
A minister was found dead at Icart Point 12th
Guernsey steam tramway is granted its concession 13th
Police found a bomb in Bluebell Wood 14th
Hanois Lighthouse’s foundation stone was laid 15th
Charlie Chaplin played in St Peter Port 16th
St Peter Port inundated with fish 17th
A royal visit… of sorts
The Rolling Stones played St Peter Port 18th
Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society was published 19th
Archaeologist Crystal Bennet was born 20th
Mapmaking geologist John MacCulloch died 21st
St Sampson pensioner was buried in a landslide 22nd
Trident VI ran aground on its return from Herm 23rd
Queen Victoria visited Guernsey 24th
The post-Occupation military government was disbanded 25th
Wesleyans celebrated 100 years on Guernsey 26th
Oliver Reed was jailed in Guernsey 27th
Guernsey’s Reform Law was enacted 28th
Winston Churchill visited Guernsey with his wife 29th
Philip de Saumarez was discharged as a Jurat 30th
Jersey swimmers set a round-Guernsey record 31st