Elvis Festival posts $77,000 profit

By Carlie Kollath/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – This year’s Tupelo Elvis Festival made about $77,000, which is slightly less than last year.
The preliminary figures were reported Tuesday by Debbie Brangenberg, executive director of the Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association, which produces the festival.
Brangenberg said several bills are outstanding so the net profit could drop to about $70,000.
“I feel real good about it,” she said Tuesday. “I don’t think there was any surprise. The Elvis side was up and that countered the heat.”
The Elvis events are centered around the Lyric and Broadway Street. Most events are indoors. The Fairpark stage is outside.
Ticket counts are not finalized for the festival, but Brangenberg hopes to have them done by Friday’s board retreat for the association.
Last year’s festival made about $78,000, after expenses were deducted for Elvis Week activities in August. In 2009, the festival made about $91,000 and in 2008, it made $82,000.
The festival account includes profits and expenses from Main Street’s other Elvis activities.
The earnings came after an aggressive effort from organizers to cut costs and make the festival pay for itself. In 2007, the festival lost about $46,000 and Main Street had to wipe out its rainy-day fund.
Now, the rainy-day fund has $50,000 – fulfilling one of the conditions from the Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau to continue its $50,000 sponsorship of the event.
The CVB board will vote on the sponsorship for next year’s event at its August meeting.
carlie.kollath@journalinc.com