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Abbey Road on the River (AROTR) is a five-day, multi-staged music festival which was initially created to honor the music and spirit of The Beatles. The festival took place in Louisville, Kentucky over Memorial Day weekend but moved across the Ohio River to Jeffersonville, Indiana starting in 2017. Tribute bands, as well as internationally recognized bands, perform over the course of the festival, playing the music of The Beatles, as well as the music of other artists. Abbey Road on the River is a four-time winner of the Kentucky Travel Industry Association's Top 10 Spring Festivals.[1][2]

Abbey Road on the River
Abbey Road on the River Poster.png
GenreThe Beatles
Location(s)Jeffersonville, Indiana (2017–present)
Louisville, Kentucky (2005–2016)
Cleveland, Ohio (2002–2004)
Years active2002–present


Abbey Road on the River was founded and is produced by Cleveland resident Gary Jacob, who has produced the show since its inception.[3][4][5]

Abbey Road on the River began with three events in Cleveland in 2002, 2003 and 2004.[4] Following the 2004 event, Abbey Road on the River moved its main location to Louisville;[4] it continues to be held annually in that area over Memorial Day weekend. During its tenure in Louisville, the took place primarily on the city's Belvedere, within and around the Muhammad Ali Center and within the event's host hotel.[6] In 2017 it was moved across the Ohio River to Jeffersonville, Indiana, now taking place on that city's riverfront.

Event activities and attendeesEdit

The types of tribute bands that perform at Abbey Road on the River vary greatly. Some bands look, sound and act like The Beatles, while others simply play Beatles' music or the solo music of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison.[6]

The festival also features other Beatles-related activities, ranging from speakers, discussion panels, and film screenings, to the annual parade complete with costumes and yellow submarine, as well as Beatles merchandise for sale, along with food and drink options on the Belvedere grounds.[5]

Speakers, musicians and guestsEdit

Pete Best autographs drum stick at AROTR DC

Among the speakers and noted guests over the years:

  • Pete Best, the Beatles' drummer prior to Ringo Starr, was a special guest at Abbey Road on the River in Louisville (2006) and in Washington, D.C. (2010).[7]
  • Louise Harrison, George Harrison's sister, was a featured guest at Abbey Road on the River 2002, 2003 and 2005. Harrison judged Beatle-themed singing competitions and spoke to an audience about her experiences with her brother and The Beatles.
  • Julia Baird, John Lennon's half-sister, was a featured guest in 2015 to celebrate John's 75th birthday.[8]
  • Georgina Flood [9] a portrait artist from Ireland, was named resident artist of the festival in 2014 and her artwork adorns much of the festival's merchandise, posters and advertising.

Among the noted musicians over the years:


Since its beginnings as a small tribute festival, Abbey Road on the River has evolved into mixed genre and mixed media event, with some concerts targeting full albums of The Beatles and various artists such as The Who, to entire concerts devoted to the music of artists of the era, such as Bruce Springsteen. In recent years, other top bands of the era have joined Abbey Road and have performed their own music. These include Jefferson Starship, Peter Noone & Hermans Hermits, Leon Russell, The Beach Boys, Ambrosia, ELO's The Orchestra, with Felix Cavaliere's Rascals and The Zombies joining in 2016.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Beatles' Festival Buzz : Official Travel Source". Archived from the original on 2015-11-27. Retrieved 2015-10-29.
  2. ^ "Tourism groups recognize Louisville events - Louisville - Louisville Business First". Louisville Business First. Retrieved 2015-10-29.
  3. ^ Jacob, Gary (2005-05-18). "Interview with Gary Jacob". Cool Cleveland (Interview). Interviewed by Thomas Mulready. Retrieved 2015-10-29.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ a b c Greenberg, Rudi (2011-08-31). "Fabricated Fours: Abbey Road on the River". The Washington Post. Fred Ryan. Retrieved 2015-10-27.
  5. ^ a b "Abbey Road on the River brings the essence of The Beatles to the Belvedere [Music]". 2012-05-24. Retrieved 2015-11-17.
  6. ^ a b Greenberg, Rudi (2011-09-01). "Fabricated Fours: Abbey Road on the River". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2015-11-17.
  7. ^ Moran, Catlin (2010-08-26). "Yellow Submarine docks at National Harbor". The Gazette. Retrieved 2015-10-28.
  8. ^ a b Puckett, Jeffrey Lee (2015-05-19). "Beatles festival throws party for John Lennon". The Courier-Journal. Gannet Company. Retrieved 2015-10-27.
  9. ^ "Abbey Road on the River | Georgina Flood | Ireland". Archived from the original on 2015-09-15. Retrieved 2015-10-26.
  10. ^ a b c Puckett, Jeffrey Lee (2014-10-23). "Festival welcomes Paul McCartney to Louisville". The Courier-Journal. Gannet Company. Retrieved 2015-10-28.
  11. ^ Fulton, Robert (2012-08-29). "Jefferson Starship headlines this year's Beatles festival". The Washington Examiner. Clarity Media Group. Retrieved 2015-10-28.
  12. ^ Mora, Christina (2013-05-24). "Thousands head to waterfront for Abbey Road on the River". WLKY. Retrieved 2015-10-29.
  13. ^ Puckett, Jeffrey Lee (2014-05-21). "Memorial Day weekend: Abbey Road on the River". The Courier-Journal. Gannett Company. Retrieved 2015-10-28.

External linksEdit