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  • Beatles hype takes over Helsinki

    This weekend’s Helsinki Beatles Weekend pays tribute to one of the world’s most popular bands. Recently, however, the band lost one of its popularity records.

    Finland’s biggest Beatles event, Helsinki Beatles Weekend, will take place at Sokos Hotel Presidentti in Helsinki on 5-6 April.

    Now in its fourth year, the event is overshadowed only by the news that the Beatles are no longer the most popular band on the Billboard 200 best-selling record charts in the United States. At the turn of February and March, pop star Taylor Swift surpassed the Liverpool band’s 60-year record of 382 weeks in the top 10 of the Billboard 200.

    For some solace, there is a Beatles Mass in Kallio Church, which is a popular pre-festival event. The service on 4 April will replace hymns with Beatles songs, which the audience will be invited to sing along to.

    After the service, the Fab Four will continue their worship in the Presidentti Hotel pub, where The Mersey Strings Band, a four-piece band from the Beatles cruise, will perform.

    The official opening day of the festival will feature three concerts. First up, Beatles songs will get an accordion treatment as two-time Finnish champion Elina Ukkonen and Golden Accordion winner Elias Ukkonen join forces with guitarist-pianist Mika Suominen.

    The evening will continue with Beatles versions by The Lonely Hearts Club, a Kinnunen family band that has accompanied Jussi Raittinen, among others. Finally, The Seatbelts, who won the Helsinki Beatles Weekend band competition last year, will perform.

    On the second day of the festival, Beatles fans will have the chance to chat with each other in a Beatles-themed music quiz. This will be followed by a three-act concert, opened by soprano Milla Mäkinen, who specialises in baroque music, with her performance of The Beatles’ Women. She will be followed by Tinos, founded in 1965, who play melodic and polyphonic pop rock and rock’n’roll.

    The Beatles Tribute Band by Jiri Nikkinen, dubbed “the best Beatles tribute band in the world”, will close the evening with a repertoire of 60s Beatles hits and rarities performed with original sounds.

    For a detailed festival schedule and ticket prices, please visit www.beatlesweekend.fi.

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