Tupelo Elvis Festival goes virtual


TUPELO, Miss. (WCBI) – COVID-19 has been the reason why many events and festivals have shutdown this year.

But the virus would not be the final curtain call for the annual Tupelo Elvis Festival.

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A few months ago it became clear an in-person Tupelo Elvis Festival wasn’t going to happen this year. That’s when organizers started planning a virtual Elvis Fest.

The Elvis Tribute Artists performed in one location. The band was in Australia and the two were combined into one performance in Tupelo.

This was happening with fans watching around the world, on their screen.

“We’ve really come together as a team to do whatever it takes to make it happen,” said Festival Executive Director Debbie Brangenberg.  She says it has taken a lot of coordination with artists in different time zones, sending in video clips.

Elvis Festival Emcee Tom Brown prerecorded all of the introductions for the segments throughout Tupelo, forgoing his usual Elvis themed jackets.

“Because we were moving all over town and outside, I dipped into my Lansky shirt collection, much like the one you see here, the stained glass peacocks,” said Brown.

Brown said festival organizers, fans, and the tribute artists were thankful technology allowed the event to continue.

“In the last couple of months, all of us have gotten used to watching things on television that were not quite what we were used to , and I think now everybody is just excited that events like this are happening , they look past all the technical glitches, past all that , they love that these guys are doing this contribution for Elvis from wherever in the world,” he said.

The virtual Elvis Fest wraps up Sunday with a gospel concert. An online love offering will be taken and proceeds benefit St Jude Children’s Research Hospital. One of the many charities Elvis supported during his life.

To view the schedule and events, go to the Facebook Page for the Tupelo Elvis Festival.