Davis, Swirsky among featured
presenters for BATR symposium

The fifth annual Beatles at the Ridge music festival will be held in downtown Walnut Ridge Sept. 18-19 and the lineup for the Artists and Authors Symposium has been announced.

This year's symposium features special guest Ivor Davis, an author/journalist who covered The Beatles 1964 tour, as well as the festival's featured artist Seth Swirsky, an award winning filmmaker, recording artist and author.

Davis, a London native, is the author of the award-winning book, "The Beatles and Me On Tour," which is Davis's first-hand memoir of traveling with The Beatles. As a West Coast correspondent for the London Daily Express, Davis was assigned to cover the Fab Four's first American tour from start to finish, and was given unparalleled access to all band members.

Swirsky, who has written songs for several artists including Elton John, Celine Dion and Smokey Robinson, is the director and producer for the 2011 documentary, "Beatles Stories."

The documentary features Swirsky interviewing more than 80 celebrities, sports figures, international personalities and music artists, all of whom had met The Beatles or knew them first-hand, and shared their stories about the famous band.

Davis and Swirsky will be featured in Friday night's symposium, both discussing their works, and both will be available for a question and answer session. In addition, Swirsky's documentary will be played at the event for free.

Both Friday and Saturday's symposium events will be held at The Studio on Main Street. The following schedules have been announced:

Friday, Sept. 18

Noon – 5:45 p.m. - Artists and Authors Symposium booths open.

6-6:10 p.m. - Introduction of Jude Southerland Kessler, Ivor Davis and Seth Swirsky.

6:10-6:45 p.m. - Jude Southerland Kessler, "1964: Beatlemania!"

6:45-7:15 p.m. - Ivor Davis, "The Beatles and Me On Tour, 1964."

7:15-7:30 p.m. - Q/A with Ivor Davis

7:30-7:45 p.m. - Introduction from filmmaker Seth Swirsky, "Beatles Stories."

7:45-9:00 p.m. - Viewing of the film, "Beatles Stories."

9-9:15 p.m. - Q/A with Seth Swirsky

9:15-9:30 p.m. - Book and DVD signing with Jude, Ivor and Seth.

Saturday, Sept. 19

9 a.m. - Artists and Authors Symposium opens.

10:30-11:15 a.m. - Ken Orth, "Coffee with Ken."

TBA - Lanea Stagg, "Lunch and Learn."

4-4:45 p.m. - Dr. Kit O'Toole, "Tea Time."

Others who will have booths at the symposium include authors Robert Rodriguez and Anthony Robustelli, who is also a popular Beatles radio show host; Sara Schmidt, host/researcher for MeetTheBeatlesForReal.com; and artist Rande Kessler. Kessler has created four mixed media sculptures depicting each of The Beatles, which will be on display at the event.

For more information about the symposium or the festival, visit www.beatlesattheridge.com.

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