(Liverpool) “This is the most important house in the history of the most important group in contemporary music,” proclaims Dale Roberts, guide of the Magical Mystery Tour buses, which tour the places of the Beatles’ childhood.

In Liverpool, the economy is based on “football and the Beatles”, assures Victoria McDermott, marketing director of Cavern City Tours, company that owns Magical Mystery Tours and the famous Cavern Club where the “Fantastic Four” cut their teeth.

About forty passengers get off the coach to take a picture or pose in front of the brick pavilion where Paul McCartney grew up, not far from the famous Penny Lane or Strawberry Fields park.

“I’m very moved,” says Graham Biley, a “semi-professional” musician. The ride was given to him for his 70th birthday.

“Don’t delay, or you’ll stay in Strawberry Fields…Forever!” continues Dale Roberts, mimicking the well-known title of “Fab’Four” to the laughter of his conquered audience.

“The first time I heard The long and winding road when I was 10, I cried,” says Hiromi Beckstrom, 56, a Japanese fan of the legendary quartet, who now lives in the United States and does this pilgrimage with his daughter Alexandra.

Liverpool built its prosperity in the 18th and 19th centuries with “triangular trade” – and therefore the trafficking of human beings for raw materials – at the dawn of the industrial revolution, says Dale Roberts on the microphone, between two stops.

Then two world wars, the Great Depression and deindustrialization plunged the city into a long decline.

She “was then blessed with four strokes of luck: John, Paul, George and Ringo!” continues the guide, who has worked in the Beatles-mania business for eight years.

Everywhere in Liverpool, you see statues of Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Star, to whom two museums are dedicated, countless restaurants, bars, souvenir shops… generating big money.

Forty-eight percent of Liverpool’s business tax revenue comes from tourism, council member Harry Doyle told AFP. And the Beatles legacy is estimated at £120 million a year for the local economy. The Cavern Club alone claims 800,000 visitors per year, out of a total of 22 million visitors for the city in 2021.

Not to mention that Liverpool saw its international aura magnified by the Eurovision Song Contest, which was held there this year on behalf of Ukraine at war.

Elsewhere in the United Kingdom, those nostalgic for Oasis or Joy Division run in Manchester, those for Belle

Hiromi and Alexandra have also planned a stopover at Abbey Road studios in the British capital on their journey.

And that’s not counting the wave of giant summer festivals in the United Kingdom.

The most legendary, Glastonbury, which opened on Wednesday, attracts around 200,000 people each year to the medieval village in south-west England. On the bill this year: the British Elton John, Arctic Monkeys, Cat Stevens, the Americans Lizzo or Lana del Rey, and many others.

In total, music, including recordings, generated £4 billion in the UK in 2021, according to the latest official figures. This is far from the 5.8 billion before the pandemic, but professionals believe that the rebound is almost complete.

Other countries also capitalize on their artists: Graceland and Memphis in the United States take fans of Elvis Presley on a journey, for example, and the memory of Bob Marley is a godsend for Jamaica.

An example of the economic weight of musical superstars: the influx of tourists who came to see American Beyoncé’s concert in Stockholm last month contributed to resilient inflation, according to a Danske Bank economist.

In the United Kingdom, too, the price of concert tickets helped maintain inflation in May at 8.7%, the highest rate for a G7 country.

Concert halls are also facing soaring bills, including energy, after having already closed during the pandemic, like the Cavern Club.

Britain’s musical heritage is “incredibly important, it needs to be cared for”, concludes Victoria McDermott.