What a week we had at the Parkes Elvis Festival! This was my 5th Elvis festival and each year I have fallen more and more in love with it.
For me my first trip started for work. As a reporter in the central west region of NSW this was in the heart of my coverage area but it was love at first sight.
Clearly there is a lot about the Elvis festival that sits well with me outside it being the most fun work I get to do all year.
It encapsulates so much of what I love about vintage and retro life here in Australia.
There is music, dancing, dressing up and events for everyone.
But there is also such an incredible community around this festival.
I speak to people who have been coming for years, some even decades. Each year they travel from their home towns by train, car, caravan, plane – however they can! -to spend 5 days in Parkes.
Why I hear you ask? Especially when Parkes in early January is usually well about 40 degrees (104 fahrenheit)?
Because this festival is one of the biggest Elvis festivals in the southern hemisphere. Because it has been running 25 years. It started out of passion and love for the King of Rock and Roll and that’s the spirit it continues in today.
This festival attracts Elvii and Priscilla’s from all walks of life.
Young or old.
Professional Elvis Tribute Artists, or those with a dream.
Performers who will sell out venues and perform to thousands on the main stage and those that love nothing more than being a part of the busking competition on the main street!
Over 5 days there are more than 100 events. There is something for everyone.
But above all else everyone is there to have a great time.
The benefit of travelling to these things by myself is that at ticketed events where you sit at tables you are sort of forced to speak to people.
It’s not something I do very well. Believe it or not I am actually a pretty shy person but this year my goals away from work this year was to be more out there. Go to events I have always wanted to but have chickened out of because I was working. Take that time to have some fun between the hours and hours of recording, editing, taking photos and video and putting it all together for my day job with the ABC.
And I am so glad I did!
I meet some of the most amazing people, got to hang out with old friends and am pleased to say I made new ones as well.
I had the best time at the Gala dinner and the Miss Priscilla dinner.
I was even pulled up on stage by Elvis tribute Artist Ross Mancini (thanks to the folks on my table for that). And after initially being horrified got right into the act.
I cannot recommend this festival enough. If you love 1950’s and 1960’s rock and roll culture you have got to spend your summer holidays in Parkes!
If you want a little more taste of the action make sure you check out our podcast wherever you listen to your favourites. We have an episode from each day we are there.
The other great thing from this festival was the young fans getting into the action.
I have no doubt the future of the Parkes Elvis Festival and Elvis’ legacy are in safe hands after seeing all the children and teens getting into the action!
So until next year! Where the theme will be 50 years since the 68 Comeback special! Start planning your Parkes trip!