Mark Lapidos started Beatlefest (now "The Fest for Beatles Fans") in 1974.


On April 28, 1974, Lapidos joined 100,000 others in New York's Central Park for the March of Dimes Walkathon. John Lennon and Harry Nilsson were on hand to emcee the start of the event. Lapidos wore his new "10th Anniversary Beatles" shirt issued by Capitol. Lapidos saw someone else with the same shirt and asked him where he got it. The other person replied that he had helped John and Harry the night before and that John invited up to his hotel for a shirt and autograph. He then told Lapidos where John Lennon was staying and the room number.


Later, Lapidos went to the hotel. Harry Nilsson answered the knock on Lennon's door and let Lapidos in. Lapidos found himself face to face with John Lennon. Lapidos described his idea for Beatles Fans celebration ("Beatlefest"). Lennon was supportive, "I'm all for it. I'm a Beatles fan, too!"


The first Beatlefest was featured on the October 24, 1974, cover of Rolling Stone, and grew into an annual event held in multiple cities each year.