Music

The Cottage in Crystal Lake to feature Beatles Blast, Liverpool mural

The Cottage in Crystal Lake isn’t The Cottage this weekend. It’s Mathew Street in Liverpool, and The Beatles are playing.

The Beatles Blast British Invasion aims to bring not only the sounds, but also the sights of Britain to McHenry County.

“I bring a bit of home to Crystal Lake,” said The Cottage owner Paul Leech, who originally is from Liverpool.

In its sixth year, Beatles Blast has grown based on popularity to two days and will feature more attractions than ever as it takes over The Cottage and its surrounding area June 20 & 21. Concerts begin at 4 p.m. each day and include tributes to The Beatles, as well as other famous British bands and performers.

Among the bands are tributes to Pink Floyd by In the Flesh, The Beatles by BritBeat and American English, The Who by Who’s Who and Led Zeppelin by Kashmir.

“It’s celebrating the British invasion from the UK to America,” Leech said.

Along with the music, the event will feature an 8-by-34-foot mural depicting Mathew Street in Liverpool, home to Hard Day’s Night Hotel and the world-famous Cavern Club, where The Beatles got their start. Instead of The Cottage, visitors will be entering Mathew Street’s The Grapes Pub, where The Beatles would have a drink between gigs.

Leech called on area artist Jeanine Hill-Soldner to help create the scene. Hill-Soldner has spent the past couple of weeks feverishly painting the mural on panels of canvas at her Lakeside Legacy Arts Park studio in Crystal Lake.

Hill-Soldner has ties of her own to Liverpool, living nearby at one point and completing her post-graduate independent study at Liverpool University.

Plans are to install the panels Friday on the exterior wall at The Cottage. After the event, they’ll be removed and stored for future Beatles Blast concerts.

“We took iconic images from Mathew Street, and Jeannine has created Mathew Street,” Leech said. “The idea being you feel as if you’re on Mathew Street listening to The Beatles.”

The two-day event also will feature Monty Python skits, characters dressed as the king’s guards of England and a replica of a TARDIS, a phone booth-like time machine featured in the British science fiction television program “Doctor Who.”

Another smaller mural, similar to the cover of The Beatles’ album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” will allow visitors to place their heads in the album and take pictures.

Leech has imported numerous London memorabilia, such as English candy, Beatles-themed jewelry, badges and other items, to sell in a makeshift gift shop.

A children’s area will feature a bouncy house, face-painting and other attractions.

“It’s an all-around British show,” Leech said.

Tickets cost $10 a person for a one-day pass, $15 a person for a two-day pass and $75 a person for a VIP pass. The event is free for children ages 12 and younger. Information: 815-459-7520, www.thecottagepub.net or www.ticketriver.com/event/15420.

The Cottage in Crystal Lake isn’t The Cottage this weekend. It’s Mathew Street in Liverpool, and The Beatles are playing.

The Beatles Blast British Invasion aims to bring not only the sounds, but also the sights of Britain to McHenry County.

“I bring a bit of home to Crystal Lake,” said The Cottage owner Paul Leech, who originally is from Liverpool.

In its sixth year, Beatles Blast has grown based on popularity to two days and will feature more attractions than ever as it takes over The Cottage and its surrounding area June 20 & 21. Concerts begin at 4 p.m. each day and include tributes to The Beatles, as well as other famous British bands and performers.

Among the bands are tributes to Pink Floyd by In the Flesh, The Beatles by BritBeat and American English, The Who by Who’s Who and Led Zeppelin by Kashmir.

“It’s celebrating the British invasion from the UK to America,” Leech said.

Along with the music, the event will feature an 8-by-34-foot mural depicting Mathew Street in Liverpool, home to Hard Day’s Night Hotel and the world-famous Cavern Club, where The Beatles got their start. Instead of The Cottage, visitors will be entering Mathew Street’s The Grapes Pub, where The Beatles would have a drink between gigs.

Leech called on area artist Jeanine Hill-Soldner to help create the scene. Hill-Soldner has spent the past couple of weeks feverishly painting the mural on panels of canvas at her Lakeside Legacy Arts Park studio in Crystal Lake.

Hill-Soldner has ties of her own to Liverpool, living nearby at one point and completing her post-graduate independent study at Liverpool University.

Plans are to install the panels Friday on the exterior wall at The Cottage. After the event, they’ll be removed and stored for future Beatles Blast concerts.

“We took iconic images from Mathew Street, and Jeannine has created Mathew Street,” Leech said. “The idea being you feel as if you’re on Mathew Street listening to The Beatles.”

The two-day event also will feature Monty Python skits, characters dressed as the king’s guards of England and a replica of a TARDIS, a phone booth-like time machine featured in the British science fiction television program “Doctor Who.”

Another smaller mural, similar to the cover of The Beatles’ album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” will allow visitors to place their heads in the album and take pictures.

Leech has imported numerous London memorabilia, such as English candy, Beatles-themed jewelry, badges and other items, to sell in a makeshift gift shop.

A children’s area will feature a bouncy house, face-painting and other attractions.

“It’s an all-around British show,” Leech said.

Tickets cost $10 a person for a one-day pass, $15 a person for a two-day pass and $75 a person for a VIP pass. The event is free for children ages 12 and younger. Information: 815-459-7520, www.thecottagepub.net or www.ticketriver.com/event/15420.

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