I’ve been studying the schedule of events for Elvis Week 2019. It will be a nine-day affair, covering two weekends – Friday, August 9 through Saturday, August 17.
Now, you can imagine that most folks thinking about going to Elvis Week would prefer being there that last weekend. There’s always some pretty good events scheduled… and it’s special to be there around Graceland on the 16th , even if you don’t do the candlelight vigil.
So, how does EPE plan to attract folks to come on those real early dates — that first weekend? A year ago, the first night’s happening was a “Special Event with Lisa Marie Presley.” I have no idea what that involved, but afterward, there was an “Exclusive Photo and Autograph Opportunity” with her. I don’t know. Maybe that did pull in a lot of folks.
But I do know that what’s coming this year on that first weekend is a winner.
They are throwing an After-Party at Elvis Presley’s Memphis on the first three nights of Elvis Week 2019. There will be cash bars and food stations along the streets. There will be a stage set up outside in front of Vernon’s Smokehouse, and according to the press release, “many of your favorite Elvis tribute artists will be jamming.”
Sounds like a pretty good party, doesn’t it?
Just imagine its night and the streets are full of people
To ensure a festive atmosphere, there will be a host named Jeff Lewis up on the stage introducing the acts and interacting with the visitors. He sent me something to acquaint you with him.
“I started the Elvis Tribute Artist jam idea back in 2012 at the Hard Rock Cafe. I did it after the Ultimate the year Ben Portsmouth won. It was really great seeing all the guys on stage just jamming, singing, laughing, and not taking the contest stuff too seriously, instead, they were all remembering why we were there, to celebrate Elvis and his incredible music and legacy. It really took off from there. We continued to have the After Parties every year at the Hard Rock. I was so honored when EPE reached out to me and wanted to know if I’d work with them and have the parties at EPM. I think it is really going to be cool and a lot of fun.”
I agree. You can’t go wrong when you bring on an experienced Hard Rock Cafe party manager. Congrats to EPE for such a good choice.
So, picture it. A big outdoor party until midnight in a closed-off mini-village called Elvis Presley’s Memphis.
I think EPE has come up with a great concept that could entice fans to come to those three early days of Elvis Week. Folks can go to the After-Parties and listen to Elvis music, hang out with friends, have drinks from the cash bars, get a late snack from street vendors, wander around and go in some stores or exhibits. I can see myself doing this and enjoying it very much.
Obviously, this is a wonderful set-up for fan clubs and other groups travelling together. How much fun would these parties be if you were there with a bunch of friends?
Okay, the After-Parties sound really good…. But what are they after?
The three nights of After-Parties are an added bonus for the fans attending the Ultimate Tribute Artist competitions or a special concert featuring former contest winners.
Friday, August 9: Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest Semifinal Round
Saturday, August 10: Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Final Round
Sunday, August 11: The Ultimate Return
These concerts are in the Graceland Soundstage and run from 7 to 9 or so. By the time these concerts conclude, Elvis Presley’s Memphis will have closed down and all the folks have been asked to leave. Then, the Soundstage doors open, and the concert-goers pour out into the streets. The band on that outdoor stage cranks it up, and the party is on.
The Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist competitions need no explanation, but what is The Ultimate Return? Think of it as a showcase for past winners, which Graceland calls an “incredible live concert.” It will be hosted by Dean Z who won back in 2013. He will have his own solo performance the next night in the Soundstage.
Other announced performers so far include:
Shawn Klush – winner of the first competition in 2007
Cody Slaughter (2011)
Ben Thompson – title holder from last year’s 2018 competition
And the show will start with whoever is the newly crowned 2019 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist
So, the only question is… what does it cost? The Semifinal Round is the cheapest at $50, $40, $30, depending how close you want to be to the stage. The Soundstage seats are on a level floor, so I wouldn’t want to be too far back. The Finals and the ETA show are ten dollars more: $60, $50, and $40.
The three sections farthest from the stage are the ones priced above. The Green, white and yellow seats are reserved for people buying different kinds of ticket packages ranging from $160 to $1,500. Of course, they get to go to the After-Parties, too.
It should be noted that there are side sections of seats with similar distribution not shown here. Potential audience size could be up to 1,500 people.
So, if you pop for the best seats available on the two EPA competitions, you’d be paying $220 for you and your sweetie. If you’ve never seen these, be assured that the best of the Elvis Tribute Artists give remarkable performances. These shows are great entertainment.
For the ETA finals and the Ultimate Return concert, your cost would be $240. Compared to the ticket prices at Elvis Week last year, these are pretty good deals, and you get the After-Parties as a bonus
I’ve been to Elvis Week four times, always during the last three or four days. If I were going this year, I’d give that first weekend a try. I’d wear an ElvisBlog T-shirt at the After-Parties and see if anybody comes up and says, “Hey, I read your blog.”
Click here to see all the events and ticket prices. It takes some study to grasp all the different options they offer, but at least you already know plenty about the After-Parties.
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