Elvis Festival hero

Celebrate the life of the late great Elvis Presley.

What is it?

The spirit of Elvis is alive and well at his former home, Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee. Every year, on the anniversary of his death (August 16) Graceland hosts a nine-day celebration of his life and music. Some years, up to 75,000 people have attended. The festival is predicted to be the largest ever as 2017 marks the 40th anniversary of Elvis’ death.

What events are there?

The cornerstone of the event is the Candlelight Vigil. It starts on the evening of August 15 as fans holding candles walk in silence up the driveway of Graceland to the Meditation Garden. They sit there in quiet remembrance until the early hours of the 16th, listen to music and share memories of the King.

There’s lots of music, including live performances, impersonators and dance parties. Don’t miss the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Contest where lookalikes from around the world compete to win the crown. Elvis’ best movies are shown, there are panel discussions from industry experts or people who knew him, tours of the Graceland mansion and lots of special fan events where they can swap stories. A huge marketplace for memorabilia and merchandise is set up in the local convention centre and you can take a tour to Elvis’ childhood home in Tupelo, Mississippi.

How can I go?

In 2017, Elvis Week will run from August 11-19. Many events are free to attend, however for the headliners tickets will sell out early. The whole town of Memphis is in party mode to celebrate their most famous son, so even if you miss out on the official events you can hit a local blues club and soak up the atmosphere.

Image credit: Twitter / NSW Central West