Looking back at when The Beatles performed to a crowd of just 18 in Aldershot

A mix up between the promoter and the Aldershot News meant the gig wasn’t advertised properly so barely anyone turned up


What would have been a momentous day for Aldershot ended up in the history books, but for all the wrong reasons.

Legendary Liverpudlian band, The Beatles, were due to perform at a venue just over Surrey’s border – it was 1961.

But the Fab Four didn’t quite get the warm welcome expected, and ended up performing to a crowd of just 18 lucky people.

On Saturday, December 19 in 1961, The Beatles arrived for their gig at the Palais Ballroom.

Promoter Sam Leach had got in touch with the Aldershot News to spread the word, but there was a mix-up which meant the message never got out.

The event was called Liverpool vs London Battle of the Bands, and to add to the night’s woes two of the London bands invited, Ivor Jay and the Jaywalkers, failed to turn up.

When the doors to the Palais opened, the crowd was conspicuous by its absence, with no more than six people stood outside waiting to get in.

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