US headline act Dean Z says Parkes Elvis Festival a perfect gem

ULTIMATE ELVIS: US tribute artist Dean Z loves the energy of the Parkes Elvis Festival. Photo: Barbara Reeves.
ULTIMATE ELVIS: US tribute artist Dean Z loves the energy of the Parkes Elvis Festival. Photo: Barbara Reeves.

On his third trip to town as our headline act, US Elvis tribute artist Dean Z has likened Parkes to Memphis.

"Memphis has its own feeling and Parkes has its own feeling," he said.

"Parkes Elvis Festival is so unique. I do festivals all over the world and Parkes is its own perfect gem inside this crown of tribute festivals.

Parkes is its own perfect gem inside this crown of tribute festivals

Dean Z

"It's cool because the people are involved with it, they really connect with Elvis.

"They dress up, it's like a really cool party atmosphere and it's not just about going to the shows, its about being here, there's an experience, it's similar to Memphis.

"It's really cool because we are 9000 miles away from Graceland right now and it feels like we could walk down the street and see it because there is that much energy here, it's got a cool connection to Elvis."

Dean was our feature artist in 2012 and 2013.

"I did back to back years," he said.

"I believe I am the only international feature artist to do it two years in a row."

It was in August 2013 that Dean won the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist competition in Memphis.

"Between January and August I went into full workshop mode and really worked on things," he said.

"When I look back on any pictures or videos from Parkes in 2012 or 2013 I feel like I'm looking at a different person.

"It feels like I'm a child, it feels like a lifetime ago for me so it's nice to come back and say 'right, let's do it' and I'll show ya'll that I've grown up a little bit."

It's nice to come back and say 'right, let's do it' and I'll show ya'll that I've grown up a little bit.

Dean Z

Dean said Australian Elvis fans are such a great group of people.

"Unfortunately Elvis never made it over here so these sort of things are a way for Elvis fans to get a glimpse of what it was like to see Elvis in concert, even if it's just for a moment."

Hailing from Lancaster, California, Dean has been singing since he was three years old.

"It was always Elvis from that moment on," he said.

I never really approached it as a career, never really thought 'what can I do to make a living, who do I look like', none of those things ever crossed my mind.

"It's always been a passion, kids play baseball and if you become a baseball player you've lived your passion.

"I've been fortunate to live my childhood passion and transform it into something that has allowed me to support my family, see the world, make thousands of friends and perform in so many cool places, it's incredible."

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