Friday, May 26, 2017

A half-century after Sgt. Pepper, Abbey Road on the River is underway in Jeffersonville.

From George Martin all the way to Mike Moore ...

Yesterday I was delighted to help out for a few hours at the Clark-Floyd Counties Convention Tourism Bureau's information booth, situated by the Pearl Street entrance to Abbey Road on the River.

The Big Four Bridge is open for transit, with the ramp descending to street level adjacent to the fest gate. If you decide to walk, Budweiser wants you to keep moving.

Presumably no listening, either.

The festival takes up the whole rectangular expanse of the park built around the bridge. There'll always be first-year jitters, but yesterday it appeared that the fest's infrastructure had been well-planned.

As always in autocentric America, parking stands to be the biggest issue, thought there are hotel shuttles to help with out-of-town guests. Use the damn walking bridge, Louisvillians.

Of course, me being me, the biggest question is how much the city of Jeffersonville is budgeting for five days of Beatlemania. Recalling the reluctance of City Hall in New Albany to openly discuss how much Harvest Homecoming actually costs, it's an answer I'm unlikely to receive.

But just imagine being able to house all of Harvest Homecoming inside the expanse the size of Big Four Station, engineered precisely for this purpose (and others). No merchant would be blocked, and the independent businesses nearby would be in a position to enjoy the best of both worlds.

A boy can dream. Thanks to the bureau for having me -- and by the way, it's fazed, not phased.

Abbey Road on the River starts off cloudy, but recovers, by Danielle Grady (All Things Bright and Jeffersonville)

JEFFERSONVILLE — The first day of Abbey Road on the River’s first year in Jeffersonville didn’t start out perfectly.

Rain the day before pushed back the gate opening for The Beatles festival from noon to 4 p.m.

By late-afternoon on Thursday, however, temperatures had risen into the 60s and a small crowd of Abbey Road-die hards had gathered at the foot of the Big Four Bridge awaiting the five-day festival’s beginning.

Suzie Atkins, a six-years-or-so veteran, was among the not-phased.

“There’s always bad weather the first day and things get pushed back,” she said.

Abbey Road on the River, which was previously held in Louisville for 12 years, moved across the river to downtown Jeffersonville for 2017 after the festival founder decided to look for a different spot.

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