To echo one of Elvis Presley's most famous songs, there'll be a little less conversation and more, well, music at next year's Parkes Elvis Festival.
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That's according to new festival producer Julien Poulson who, along with his new team, unveiled the 2024 Elvis Festival program on Monday with the theme Jailhouse Rock.
Celebrating another year of hip swivels, poodle skirts and pompadours from January 10-14, the program is filled to the brim with concerts featuring world-class performers including two international headline acts again, dance lessons, art classes and even the return of an Elvis-themed dog show!
Just a couple of months into their roles, Mr Poulson said the highlights next year are what's been done in the past.
"It's been very exciting going through the history and reassembling it for the festival ahead," he said.
"It's been 70 years since Elvis first recorded 'My Happiness' which was written for his mother... The festival has been running for 31 years, which is longer than Elvis' career.
"Every year the festival strives to encapsulate the magic of Elvis, to create an experience that resonates with both long-time fans and newcomers. This 2024 program, with its diverse range of events and world-class performances, truly embodies the spirit and legacy of The King."
Mr Poulson acknowledged his predecessors and the support and kindness of the original committee members.
"And to Cathy Treasure (former director) whose work we inherited," he said.
"The community is the lifeblood of this festival."
Monday's launch saw the attendance of Mayor Ken "Elvis" Keith OAM, Parkes Shire councillors, Lachlan Shire Mayor John Medcalf, and Forbes councillor Maria Willis representing Forbes Mayor Phyllis Miller, and entertainment by local musicians Amitie and PlusOne from Cowra, who were a big hit at last year's 30th festival.
Wiradjuri Elder Robert Clegg included how special music is in our lives in his Welcome to Country.
"Where did music come from?" He said.
"Listen to the trees, the birds, nature, there's a beat and it's still there, and it'll still be there."
Mayor Keith also mentioned the "originals" present at the program unveiling.
"It's wonderful to have those people still involved 31 years later," he said.
Cr Keith said Parkes was unique because it had "that magical difference".
"No one has been able to replicate a festival like this because they don't have the community like we do," he said.
The program has been described as electric and bursting with Elvis and Jailhouse Rock-inspired events. Back by popular demand are the Northparkes Mines Street Parade, Renewal of Vows ceremony, festival markets, Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest where the winner will represent Parkes in Memphis, USA during Elvis Week in August, and, of course, the electric performances on the Cooke Park Main Stage and Memphis Stage.
In 2024 the Elvis Festival will deliver outstanding new concerts for diehard fans: Dive into a harmonious blend of blues and rock with The Blues Brothers Spectacular Dinner Show at the Parkes Golf Club, or revel in the 70s nostalgia as The Vegas Legends tribute brings Elvis, Cher, and Tina Turner back to the spotlight.
For those seeking a global flair, Elvis International promises a world-class dinner show, uniting Elvis Tribute Artists from Osaka to Scotland, all celebrating the iconic tunes of The King.
Legendary Australian surf rock band The Atlantics will be inducted on the Wall of Fame next year. Celebrated for their ground-breaking 1963 hit, Bombora, The Atlantics' iconic sound has inspired countless musicians and resonates with new generations.
The tribute concert at the Parkes Services Club will feature Australia's premier surf guitarist Martin Cilia from The Atlantics and Mental as Anything. He will captivate audiences with the band's classic tunes. The show also includes special guest Lonnie Lee, one of Australia's pioneering Elvis Tribute Artists.
"The Wall of Famers Show is something very special that was hatched and incubated here by the committee to acknowledge Australian music legends," Mr Poulson said.
The International Feature Concert Series will again be headlined by two top international artists Taylor Rodriguez and Cote Deonath, winner of the coveted 2023 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist contest in Memphis.
This dynamic duo, alongside a medley of top Elvis Presley tribute artists, will kick-off the festival with The Ultimate Elvis Jukebox Request Show. Audiences will be transported through the eras, from rockabilly to Vegas, as the likes of Jack Gatto, Che Orton, Johnny Lee Memphis, and Mark Andrew join Cote and Taylor onstage to deliver Elvis's most iconic melodies.
Beyond the concerts, the program offers unique experiences such as Jailhouse Bingo, stretch those tired dancing muscles to Elvis' classics, or watch pups strut their stuff at the Hound Dog Dog Show, rock 'n' roll dance lessons, Paint and Elvis art sessions and rock climbing classes.
The event is also a mecca for buskers, with applications still open for performers to appear at the festival.
Starting as a small get-together between like-minded Elvis fans in 1993, the Parkes Elvis Festival has grown today into an internationally renowned phenomenon, attracting 25,000 Elvis enthusiasts and recognised as one of the top events in Australia, attracting fans from all over the globe.
With the Parkes Elvis Festival website and the program now live, tickets to all shows across the many venues will go on sale from 12pm on Tuesday, September 19 at www.parkeselvisfestival.com.au.
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