Paul McCartney spoke about the event years later, saying: “When we found out that it was going to be a segregated audience – blacks one side, whites the other. It just seemed so mad.
“We couldn’t understand that. So we just said: ‘We’re not playing that!’”
The band’s refusal to play put enough pressure on the venue’s officials to make them change their minds about the divide.
READ MORE: George Harrison was the ‘best actor’ in The Beatles’ film
When they arrived, John Lennon reportedly quipped: “We never play to segregated audiences and we aren’t going to start now. I’d sooner lose our appearance money.”
Further details of the event were provided by director Ron Howard, who explored the band’s days touring in 2016 documentary The Beatles: Eight Days a Week.
He said: “It was a ludicrous idea to them, but it was clear to them and that’s the position they took, and lo and behold, they de-segregated that concert.”
“So I’m very proud of that and it actually ended up in our contract – ‘will not play segregated audiences.’
“Back then, you know, to us it was just common sense. But it turns out it was quite a statement.”
Last year McCartney spoke out against racism in America once again when George Floyd was killed, a murder which sparked many protests and a surge in the Black Lives Matter movement.
“We all need to work together to overcome racism in any form. We need to learn more, listen more, talk more, educate ourselves and, above all, take action.
“I feel sick and angry that here we are almost 60 years later and the world is in shock at the horrific scenes of the senseless murder of George Floyd at the hands of police racism, along with the countless others that came before.”