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Bringing live music back to the birthplace of the Beatles

The winners of The Forthlin Sessions outside 20 Forthlin Road
The winners outside 20 Forthlin Road | © Fabio De Paola-PA Wire

At 20 Forthlin Road in Liverpool, four friends found their sound and became the Beatles. The music born in this house went on to shape a generation, creating a legacy of creativity and freedom of expression that still endures today.

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Watch The Forthlin Sessions

From a family home to the front room of music history, 20 Forthlin Road in Liverpool has left a unique legacy as the place where the Beatles were formed. In this video, you can watch performances from Serena Ittoo, HUMM, Emily Theodora and Dullan. These four new artists have all written songs inspired by the legacy of the Beatles, and performed them at 20 Forthlin Road on 18 June.

Winners of The Forthlin Sessions

We launched a search in April to look for new artists to perform in a music event at 20 Forthlin Road, the birthplace of the Beatles. Thank you to everyone who applied. We received many entries and every one was carefully reviewed by our selection panel.

The winners have been chosen and the four unsigned music acts will now get the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to write a song inspired by the Beatles' legacy, and perform it in the McCartneys' own front room.

The winners are:

  • Singer-songwriter Serena Ittoo from Enfield
  • Folk duo HUMM from Bath
  • Singer-songwriter Emily Theodora from Richmond
  • and singer-songwriter Dullan from Wrexham.
The winners outside 20 Forthlin Road, Liverpool
The winners outside 20 Forthlin Road, Liverpool | © Fabio De Paola-PA Wire

Entries were reviewed by a selection panel including Sir Paul McCartney’s brother and fellow musician, Mike McCartney; independent Beatles expert Pete Paphides; and representatives from the National Trust. This exciting competition is based on an idea by musician and producer Alan Boyd.

These successful applicants were given access to a wide range of memories, thoughts, and stories about the Beatles supplied by the public via the social media campaign #TheForthlinSessions. From these, the artists created a new song which they performed at 20 Forthlin Road on 17 June 2022.

This performance is free to view on YouTube and our social channels from 18 June 2022. Unfortunately, due to the size of the venue audiences will be remote only. Finally, the artists will receive mentoring from experts at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts for six months after this performance. The full terms and conditions and the participation agreement are available online.

'An incredible opportunity'

The four artists have shared their experiences of The Forthlin Sessions:

'I’d like to say a huge thank you to the National Trust for supporting this project and for allowing artists such as myself to experience such an amazing opportunity. 20 Forthlin Road is an ordinary house on an ordinary street cared for by extraordinary people, yet it is a home filled with so much love and hope.' – Serena Ittoo

'The Forthlin Sessions was an incredible opportunity for us to experience the unimaginable. Every moment of the day meant so much to us and we've learnt and taken away more than we could have ever dreamed.' – Humm

'It’s been an honour to write for such a special occasion. The stories from 20 Forthlin Road were so interesting to adapt into a song. I had a great time experimenting with my sound and performing in the house.' – Emily Theodora

'It has truly been the most incredible experience to write and perform a song as part of The Forthlin Sessions and to be a part of Sir Paul McCartney’s legacy...I will be forever grateful for this!' – Dullan

I have spent all my life trying to say thank you to the Beatles, who made succeeding generations believe that, yes, you can achieve your dreams. There were no trappings, no luxury in the young McCartneys’ home, in Forthlin Road. But there was music, and inspiration. They were saying… if we can make our dreams come true… so can you.

A quote by Aiden, 19Green Academies Project participant

The house where the Beatles began

Down a suburban street in Liverpool sits an unremarkable house, with a truly remarkable legacy. This is 20 Forthlin Road, the home of the McCartney family. Here, 60 years ago, four teenagers were given permission to create, allowed to dream and made music that helped themselves, and a generation, forge their own identity. At 20 Forthlin Road, the Beatles were born.

2022 is an important year for Beatles fans. It’s Sir Paul McCartney’s 80th birthday, 60 years since ‘Love Me Do’ became their first single, and 65 years since a teenage Paul first met a young John Lennon. To celebrate these anniversaries and the house where it all began, we’re bringing music back to 20 Forthlin Road and giving you the chance to add to its incredible story.

The legacy of 20 Forthlin Road

A young John Lennon and Paul McCartney sit in the front room of 20 Forthlin Road wearing black polo necks and playing guitars. They are looking across at each other, in the process of composing 'I Saw Her Standing There'
John Lennon and Paul McCartney writing 'I Saw Her Standing There' in the front parlour of 20 Forthlin Road | © Michael McCartney

The front room of music history

John Lennon and Paul McCartney writing 'I Saw Her Standing There' in the front parlour of 20 Forthlin Road, November 1962 – a month after ‘Love Me Do’ had been released.

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The white walled entrance and red and white striped tower of Souter Lighthouse lit by winter sun, with a glimpse of dark blue sea behind

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