Ali Center, Abbey Road producers partnering on activities for Beatles event

The organizers of Abbey Road on the River are partnering with the Muhammad Ali Center on activities planned during the annual Beatles revival over Memorial Day weekend in Louisville.

The partnership is intended to recall that in February of 1964, the Beatles were taken to Miami’s Fifth Street Gym where they met “The Greatest” while he was preparing for his fight against Sonny Liston.

Many of the 50 bands that will travel to Louisville for this year’s Abbey Road event will perform at the Ali Center May 23-27. A soon-to-open pedestrian walkway will allow festival-goers direct access between the Riverfront Plaza/Belvedere and the Ali Center.

Festival ticket holders will receive discounted admission to the Ali Center throughout the weekend, and those who visit the Ali Center can enter to win door prizes.

In addition, Abbey Road attendees will be able to participate in a John Lennon songwriting contest that will take place at the Ali Center. There will also be a “Give Peace a Chance” sing-along at the Ali Center public amphitheatre during the festival.

“Both Muhammad Ali and John Lennon are synonymous with peace and well-being. It makes sense for the winner of the songwriting contest to perform in front of thousands of Beatles’ fans at a venue that serves to inspire young adults,” said Gary Jacob, founder of Abbey Road on the River.

Donald Lassere, Ali Center president and CEO, said, “The history between the Beatles and Muhammad Ali makes this partnership extra meaningful.”

This marks the 12th year for Abbey Road on the River, nine of those in Louisville after the first several were held in Cleveland. The event will feature 10 indoor and outdoor stages for the expected 25,000 visitors.