3Qs: Todd Hunt, BancorpSouth Arena director



Big changes are coming to the tribute artist competitions and concerts at the 16th annual Tupelo Elvis Festival. The Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist preliminary competition and concerts will move from The Lyric to the BancorpSouth Arena.

In the past, the Lyric sold out so fast that the competition and concerts had to be telecast to audiences outside the venue. Festival organizers hope the bigger venue can allow for more ticket sales.

Ticket packages will go on presale Jan. 21-31, with individual ticket sales beginning Feb. 10 through the arena box office and Ticketmaster.

The BancorpSouth Arena is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and is on track to have its seventh consecutive year at more than 200,000 in attendance this year.

The tribute artists performing at this year’s Tupelo Elvis Festival include Cody Slaughter, who won the Tupelo preliminary and the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist competition in 2011; Brandon Bennett, Tupelo’s first tribute artist competition winner and the first winner in Memphis; Bill Cherry, who won in the ultimate competition 2009; and Jay Dupuis, who won Tupelo’s preliminary competition in 2013.

The Tupelo Elvis Festival is June 5-8.

BancorpSouth Arena director Todd Hunt responde to questions from the Daily Journal’s Sheena Barnett about the partnership between the building and the festival.

Q. This is the first time the arena has hosted the tribute artist competition and concerts. What accommodations can the arena provide that will be new to these events?

A. The No. 1 thing we offer is a larger capacity. Our venue will allow everyone who wants to experience the shows to be able to have a ticket.

Q. How will the arena prepare for the events?

A. We’ll utilize our theatre setup for this event, putting capacity at roughly 1,600 seats.

Q. This portion of the Elvis festival will add a great number to the arena’s overall attendance. How is attendance going so far this year?

A. Our fall attendance was strong and with performances by Florida Georgia Line, Winter Jam, Casting Crowns and more in the next few months, we anticipate another record-breaking year. What a great way to celebrate our 20th anniversary!

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  • Bette

    Why not name it the Elvis BancorpSouth Arena ?