The story behind Beatles manager Brian Epstein statue - the first of an LGBTQ+ figure in Liverpool city centre
The figure of Epstein is the latest addition to the city by sculptor Andy Edwards - who also created the Fab Four statue at Pier Head.
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Recently installed in Whitechapel, in the Metquarter, it was funded by Liverpool BID Company and championed by the Beatles Legacy Group.
It's hoped the Epstein statue will help contribute to Liverpool's multi-million pound Beatles tourism industry. As well as bringing money into the local economy and supporting thousands of jobs.
Beatles tourism in Liverpool
"Beatles tourism is one of the key drivers into the city,” Billy Addy, Chief Executive at Liverpool BID company, said.
“We know that the city's visitor economy pre-pandemic 2019 was £3.9 billion; a significant driver for that is music and Beatles industry. That's why it's key we keep recognising those important elements of that.
“It's 60 years this year since Brian Epstein and the Beatles signed the contract. Brian, we know, was the second manager but the manager who was most successful.
“That's one of the reasons people come here to Liverpool; to see the home of the Beatles, to see what it was which created the Beatles, the air that they breathed, in the places that they lived. That's an important element in this.
“That's why Brian’s statue here in Whitechapel sets that into context."
Epstein set the standard
Epstein, who would have been 88 this year, became The Beatles' manager in 1961 after seeing them play in the Cavern Club.
Born in Liverpool in 1934 to Jewish parents, Epstein also played a key role in the city's wider music scene, vital to the development of Merseybeat and Liverpool's cultural reputation in the mid-60s.
Tommy Calderbank from the Brian Epstein Legacy Project said: "When you hear the Kop singing You'll Never Walk Alone, that's partly down to Brian because he managed Gerry and the pacemakers.
“He managed Cilla Black. He managed The Chance, who were one of the first black doo-wop groups in the city who went on to become The Real Thing. So, Brian's legacy just goes on and on.
“He was so urbane and sophisticated, and I think he set a standard for how to behave and conduct yourself and really what this city should aspire to be, which is really warm and inclusive."
First statue of an LGBTQ+ figure
Although his sexuality was not publicly known until after his death, it was well known amongst his friends and business associates. This is the first statue of an LGBTQ+ figure in Liverpool city centre.
Mr Addy said: “Brian was a gay man, but because of the laws at the time in this country he could not be open about his sexuality. We believe it is also impostant to recognise that and be able to sign post people to that.”
The Epstein statue is the latest addition to the city by sculptor Andy Edwards, also responsible for The Fab Four statue of John, Paul, George and Ringo at Liverpool's Pier Head.
The Brian Epstein Legacy Project has led the statue campaign for the last five years. It has been made possible after a successful public Crowdfunding campaign, funding from Bill Heckle at The Cavern and match funding from Liverpool BID company.