By Sheena Barnett
TUPELO – For the first time in the Tupelo Elvis Festival’s history, the tribute artist concerts and competition will take place at the BancorpSouth Arena.
The tribute artist part of the festival has typically taken place at The Lyric, but because seating was limited the events were telecast to audiences outside.
“We’re thrilled more fans will be able to attend,” said festival organizer Craig Helmuth, speaking at a news conference at the Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau on Wednesday evening.
Ticket pre-sales are Jan. 21-31, with individual ticket sale beginning Feb. 10 through the arena box office and Ticketmaster.
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 entertainment lineup for the Fairpark concerts are still being determined and will be announced later.
Fulton native Brent Farrar, who painted last year’s Tupelo Elvis Festival poster, also painted this year’s poster, which includes a ‘70s era Elvis, complete with a 1956 Elvis reflected in his large sunglasses.
“I wanted to do something different, and the sunglasses hadn’t been done,” Farrar said of his watercolor piece. “I wanted to do something to show how iconic, how big, how larger than life he was.”
This year’s Tupelo Elvis Festival will be June 5-8.