The King conquers Norbreck

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A weekend celebration of the life and music of Elvis Presley looks set to become an annual event in Blackpool.

The Elvis Presley Convention and Competition enjoyed five successful years in the town, first at the Queens Hotel, South Promenade and then at the Norbreck Castle.

After founder Martin Fox sold the event's rights to business partner and fellow Elvis tribute act Michael King, the entire event was moved to Birmingham.

But Martin was determined not to disappoint local fans of the King of Rock and Roll.

"A lot of Blackpool Elvis fans were upset with Michael's decision to move away so I decided to put on two Elvis Birthday Celebration Shows at the Norbreck Castle Hotel to fill the gap," said Blackpool based Martin.

The event also supported the Tickets For Troops charity.

"It all went very well and everyone who came had a good time," said Martin. "It was a celebration rather than a competition so the atmosphere was a lot different to previous years – it was all a lot more relaxed."

Like the original Queens Hotel gathering he is confident that his new event will increase in popularity yearly.

"It would have been good to have seen more people there but it was comfortable enough and I am sure the interest will grow because not everyone wants to be in a competitive situation," said Martin. "When we started at The Queens there were about 150 people came and 40 Elvis acts but it has grown now to about 600 fans and 80 acts and I am sure we can do the same here.

"The hotel was happy and the acts certainly had more fun that if they had been competing against each other."

Martin's next event takes place in April and will be The Ultimate Tribute Contest, he says.

"There's a lot of scope beyond just Elvis tributes so I'm inviting all tribute acts to take part and have already got a Tom Jones, Michael Buble, Shirley Bassey, Noel Gallagher, Madonna and a sensational Marilyn Monroe taking part," said Martin. "It's another of those ideas which I think is just so right for Blackpool and the Norbreck Castle Hotel."

* The Ultimate Tribute Contest will take place from April 15 to 17.