Elvis Fest spends more, expects more

By Sarah Robinson/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – The Tupelo Elvis Festival is slated to spend about $60,000 more on weekend entertainment than it did in 2012.
Festival Director Debbie Brangenberg said festival revenue is up about 50 percent from the same time last year.
Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association, the organization responsible for the annual Elvis festival, held its monthly meeting on Wednesday. The association reported strong ticket sales for the June event, up $25,290 from 2012 , along with additional increases in sponsorship and merchandising revenue.
Brangenberg said the festival made $73,864 in 2012.
“Right now we are in OK shape,” she said, and asked the board to help encourage sponsorships and ticket sales to boost revenue for the upcoming festival.
A portion of the revenue will not be realized until ticket and vendor sales made during the festival are collected. The additional entertainment expenses were incurred when the board decided to hire bigger name acts to the Friday and Saturday evening concerts in Fairpark.
The headliners for this year’s downtown weekend concerts will be Cowboy Mouth, Montgomery Gentry and American Idol contestant Skylar Laine, a Brandon native. The festival has also changed its Sunday gospel concert to include a brunch this year.
Also discussed at the board meeting, Brangenberg said the farmers’ market downtown will get a new roof as soon as weather conditions becomes more suitable.
Brandenberg said downtown events also have been successful this year, including last month’s Wine Downtown.
“What you see now was long fought for and is finally coming to fruition,” she said.
sarah.robinson@journalinc.com