Rocking '˜n' rolling at Elvis Fest

Some of world's best tribute acts to Elvis converge on Blackpool this weekend for a whole lotta shakin', singin' and impersonatin'...

Thursday, 30th June 2016, 1:17 pm
Updated Thursday, 30th June 2016, 2:22 pm
Bill Cherry at the Elvis festival
Bill Cherry at the Elvis festival

It means only one thing. Europe’s Tribute to Elvis, hailed Europe’s largest official Elvis Presley Enterprise Licensed Festival, is back in town with scores of ‘Elvi’ turning heads as they strut their stuff through the resort centre.

This is the fourth festival and features 25 Elvis tributes honouring the life, time and fans of an entertainer who never performed in Britain, for all the sightings after his death.

It starts tomorrow and runs to Sunday, July 3 at the Empress Ballroom.

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Linda Thompson

The three-day festival features Elvis-themed shows from Friday’s Long Live the King, Saturday’s Ultimate Elvis Trilogy, Sunday’s Spirit of the King (a showcase of his gospel music) to a musical journey through his Hollywood career.

Elvis hits from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s will also be performed by three of the world’s best Elvis tribute artists, winners of the Elvis Presley Enterprises Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest.

They include Cody Ray Slaughter, star of Million Dollar Quartet on Broadway, the 2011 world champion and the youngest man to hold the title, Bill Cherry, the 2009 world champ, and Dean Z, the 2013 world champion.

Also making appearances are the Blackwood Quartet and Elvis’ original backing singers, The Holladay Sisters.

Linda Thompson

Backing headline shows is the AS Band, featuring orchestral accompaniment.

The festival includes Europe’s only official preliminary heat of the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest.

But it also includes the chance to meet Linda Thompson, the American songwriter/lyricist, who had a relationship with Elvis for four years.

Judges of the tribute artist contest also include Elvis’ friend and bodyguard Sam Thompson, Greg McDonald, another friend of Elvis, and Ginger Holladay who backed Elvis on many hit singles such as In the Ghetto, Suspicious Minds and more.

Organisers Tees Events call it the biggest, best, ultimate contest’.

For the running order check out https://elvisfestival.co.uk. Tickets may still be available on the door. Tickets will be exchanged for wristbands over the weekend.