Tupelo Elvis Festival is a musical celebration designed to honor Elvis Presley, Tupelo’s native son, and the impact that his music has on the world. For the 14th annual Tupelo Elvis Festival on May 31, June 1, 2, and 3, regional, national and international artists will entertain the fans. This year’s entertainment lineup includes three of the National Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Champions and renowned current musical acts that have regional and national recognition.
For the first time in the history of this festival, three of the past five National Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artists will perform at the Lyric Theatre. Not only have all three of these men been named “Ultimate” by Elvis Presley Enterprises in Memphis, but all three of them won preliminary rounds first, in Tupelo, Mississippi.
The magic starts on Thursday night, May 31st at the Lyric where Bill Cherry, the 2009 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist and D.J. Fontana and Sonny Burgess and the Pacers will perform. Bill, a native of Collinsville, Illinois, made history with his back-to-back wins in Tupelo and Memphis in 2009. Bill is currently on a national tour with a new concert experience, “Elvis Lives” which is showing in 29 markets.
Another National winner, the 2009 Champion, Brandon Bennett from Ponchatoula, Louisiana, will be a big crowd pleaser on Friday night, June 1st. Brandon has been honored with several international awards and is currently leading the Chicago production of “The Million Dollar Quartet”- a new hit musical inspired by the famed recording session that brought together rock ‘n roll icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins.
And, last but not least, is a performance on Saturday, June 2nd by the reigning 2011 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist- Cody Slaughter, the 20 year old from Harrison, Arkansas. With a long list of awards and wins, Cody has accomplished what people twice his age can only dream of. The youngest tribute artist to ever win the title of “Ultimate”, Cody has the looks, the moves, the voice and the showmanship to specialize as a” Young Elvis”. Cody is currently in the touring production of “The “Million Dollar Quartet”, but he will take a little break to be with us in Tupelo during the 2012 Elvis Festival.
All the concerts and competitions at the Lyric Theatre will again be backed by the EAS Band- the only band endorsed by Elvis Presley Enterprises.
For the 5th consecutive year, Tupelo will host a preliminary round of the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Competition. Last year, there were 38 competitors for this preliminary round. This is a SUPERIOR lineup that will draw fans from near and far to see who will be chosen to represent Tupelo in Memphis in August, 2012.
On the Fairpark Stsge, on Friday night, one of North Mississippi’s own, Mr. Paul Thorn will rock the stage with his brand of Southern soul. Paul’s music is a blend of story telling and great musical arrangements that merge gospel, funk, rock and country sounds. Paul’s latest album “Pimps and Preachers” was released in June of 2010 and debuted at #83 on the Billboard 200 chart. Paul is currently on tour promoting the album.
Opening for Paul, is another Mississippi native- Ms. Jordyn Mallory. This young lady from Okolona headed straight to Nashville after graduating high school a year early in 2009 – with honors. Already she has had the honor of opening for major acts like Loretta Lynn, Crystal Gayle, Jake Owen, Eric Church, and Colt Ford. Jordyn was the winner of the 2009 Musical Scholarship from the Tupelo Elvis Fan Club. She is currently in Nashville working with multi-platinum, Grammy-winning producers on some new songs.
Opening the show on Saturday night is young guy from Missouri with rich sounds hearkening back to Nashville’s early days, when artists like George Campbell added a dash of sophistication to country music. In 2007 he released the album “I’m About To Come Alive” which accounted for three Top 20 singles: the title track, as well as “Red Light” and “Turning Home”. His second album “The Sound of A Million Dreams” was just released in November, 2011 and the song “Let It Rain” quickly became a Top 10 hit. With rave reviews from Billboard, Mr. David Nail is on his way to becoming one of country music’s A-list artists.
Founded in 1998, the headliner act from Alabama is a group comprised of the same four members since its inception. This group is unique because it does not feature a lead singer. Instead, their songs are either led by any one of the four members in varying combinations. Their single “Little White Church” hit the Top 10 Country Chart in 2006. In 2010, their latest album, “The Reason Why” went to Number 5 on the Billboard Country Music Chart. This quartet, known as Little Big Town, has charted twelve songs on the Billboard Hot Country Songs and they recently received a Country Music Association nomination been for Top Vocal Group. On Saturday, June 2nd, hot off the best year of their career, Little Big Town will bring its four-part country harmony to the Birthplace of Elvis Presley… Tupelo, Mississippi.
Combo Advance Tickets for the Lyric and Fairpark will gone on sale on Tuesday, Jan. 17th. Lyric tickets can purchased at the Main Street Office starting at $125 for the whole Lyric experience and Fairpark tickets will be available through Ticketmaster through the middle of May for a two-night combined price of $24 plus Tickemaster Fees. Fairpark individual tickets will go on sale at the same time at $10 for Friday and $20 for Saturday. Lyric individual tickets will go on sale Wednesday, February 15th.
For additional information regarding the 2012 Tupelo Elvis Festival please contact the Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association at 662.841.6598.