Musical links between the cities that gave birth to The Beatles and Elvis Presley are set to be strengthened when a plaque donated to the city is unveiled.
The plaque which has been donated from Memphis to Liverpool, will be unveiled on Matthew Street on Wednesday 6th November – close to the famous Cavern Club where the Fab Four played many gigs and were first spotted by Brian Epstein.
It is the latest development in a 15-year friendship arrangement between the two cities, which began in 2004 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s first record being cut.
In 2011, venues in Liverpool and Memphis became Rock ‘n’ Soul Mates in a transatlantic link up between the two cities to encourage tourists to explore the connections between the English and American cities whose music and history have helped to shape the world.
Elvis and The Beatles famously met just once, in 1965 at Presley’s Bel Air mansion, with John Lennon later describing himself as being “terrified” during the encounter as he was their idol. Lennon said that his influence on the band was such that “without Elvis, there would be no Beatles”.
Representatives from Memphis and Liverpool will gather to unveil the plaque at lunchtime on Wednesday.
It comes as a consultation is underway on a masterplan aimed at transforming the epicentre of Liverpool’s musical heritage.
The draft Spatial Regeneration Framework (SRF) for the Cavern Quarter, includes Mathew Street and nearby Williamson Square.
The draft SRF contains a range of recommendations to help attract new investment and to enable the council to steer the future use of existing buildings in the area. The document aims to address a recent tourism report that called for the city to curate a clearer proposition around Liverpool’s pivotal role in the story of popular and contemporary music.
A UNESCO City of Music, Liverpool’s music heritage industry – which is centred around The Beatles – is now worth more than £90m a year, but the tourism report found visitors are increasingly looking for a quality experiential visit.
Drop-in consultation events about the SRF are taking place at the One Stop Shop in St Johns Market on Friday 8 November from 10am-3pm and Tuesday 19 November at RIBA North at Mann Island from 2-5pm. More information can be found at www.liverpool.gov.uk/cavernwilliamson