By Sheena Barnett
TUPELO – A wind advisory and wind chill temperatures below freezing couldn’t keep Elvis fans from buying Tupelo Elvis Festival tickets.
About 30 fans lined up outside the Tupelo Downtown Main Street Association office long before tickets went on sale Tuesday at 9 a.m. and huddled in blankets, scarves, hats, gloves and earmuffs. Some sat in lawn chairs, while others stood and shivered.
Barbara Glidewell and her daughter were first in line. The Memphis residents arrived in Tupelo at 6:30 p.m. Monday and slept in their car.
“We had blankets and lots of layers,” Glidewell said. “We got out at 3 a.m. to stand in line. Of course, it’s not as good as standing in line for Elvis himself.”
Glidewell is a lifelong Elvis fan. She was friends with him and attended his homecoming concerts in Tupelo.
The tickets that went on sale Tuesday are for all of the tribute artist competitions and concerts. Tickets to individual tribute artist concerts and competitions will go on sale Feb. 10 through the BancorpSouth Arena box office and Ticketmaster.
The competitions and concerts have typically taken place at The Lyric, but this is the first year they are moving to the BancorpSouth Arena.
Elvis and Elvis tribute artists dominated the conversations outside, but after tickets went on sale, seating became the hot topic.
“I like The Lyric, but this may be better,” Glidewell said.
The move will accommodate more fans, especially those who have traveled a long way to see the tribute artists, said Jessica Hollinger with the festival.
“It’s a little of the unknown, but we’ve heard from fans who’ve traveled a long way for years, and they’re excited,” she said. “We’re working with the arena to create the same intimacy we had at The Lyric.”
More details will be released in the coming weeks about the festival, including performers for the Fairpark concerts.