Whole lotta Euro-Elvis shakin’ going on

The King is dead... long live the Kings or Elvi

The King is dead... long live the Kings or Elvi

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There’s a guy works at the Winter Gardens, swears he’s seen Elvis.

Or will soon with a mega Elvis Presley festival heading for the Vegas of the North next month - complete with 25 ‘Elvi’ snake hipping into town.

It’s hailed Europe’s “largest official Elvis Presley Enterprise Licensed Festival”.

‘Elvi’ in all their forms will come to honour the life, time and fans of an entertainer who never performed in Britain, for all the sightings after his death.

The fourth annual Europe’s Tribute to Elvis Presley runs Friday July 1 to Sunday July 3 at the Empress Ballroom.

It will attract some of the best Elvis tribute acts in the world - many of them a long way from home. 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. 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.

Twenty five tribute artists from all over the world, including regional talent Andy Reno from Manchester, will compete at the Empress Ballroom, for the chance to be crowned champion - and enter the world event in Memphis in August.

Judges 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’. Visit https://elvisfestival.co.uk