Elvis will still enter the building...

Blackpool Winter Gardens management has assured visitors 'Blackpool is open', after the Europe's Tribute To Elvis festival this weekend was cancelled.

Wednesday, 28th June 2017, 11:18 am
Updated Tuesday, 18th July 2017, 8:45 am
One of the acts on stage at last year's Europe's Tribute To Elvis event at the Winter Gardens

Yesterday evening organisers of the three-day event posted on their Facebook page that the festival was off.

The statement said: "We regret to inform you that 2017 Europe’s Tribute to Elvis is cancelled this year.

"Due to a family emergency and with recent events in England guests have now expressed their concerns and now do not wish to travel to England.

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"We are extremely disappointed and this has been an unavoidable decision."

Just six hours earlier the same Facebook page had posted details of wristband collection for the event, which was due to take place from Friday to Sunday in the Empress Ballroom.

Michael Williams, Winter Gardens managing director, said the first he knew of the cancellation was concerned visitors calling the venue after reading the news online.

He said he had spoken to the organisers Tees Events at 2.30pm yesterday, at which point the weekend's plans were still in place.

"We were surprised and disappointed to hear of the cancellation of the Elvis convention," he said.

"We appreciate a lot of Elvis fans will be travelling to Blackpool for a weekend, and we are working with Elvis tribute acts to present an event of some kind."

He added he had been in talks with people in America, but that acts would most likely come from the UK, due to the short notice.

"There has been a lot of good will from tribute acts, who want an event to go ahead and to not disappoint fans," Mr Williams added.

More details on the replacement event are due to be announced this afternoon.

The event's Facebook statement states 'ticket holders will be issued a refund for tickets.'

The Gazette has called Tees Events for comment.