2006 Tupelo Elvis Festival Attacts Record Crowds

This June's Elvis Presley Festival attracted more attendees and generated more money than any previous festival in the annual event's eight-year history. Roughly 9,700 people turned out at the June 2-4 celebration in downtown Tupelo - double the previous record attendance, according to Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association executive director Debbie Brangenberg. The DTMSA organizes the event, which this year earned $335,325. Revenues came from corporate sponsorships, fan club memberships, fees paid by food vendors, the carnival and activities, and from the sale of tickets, beverages and merchandise. After subtracting the $275,448 spent on hosting the festival, DTMSA retains $60,985 in profits. "We've been in the hole before, so it's nice to have this cushion," Brangenberg said at the association's regular meeting Tuesday at the CREATE Foundation. The Elvis Presley Festival's executive committee voted to place $50,000 of that profit into a certificate of deposit or other interest-bearing account to be used as a rainy-day fund. Part of the remaining funds likely will be used to support a capital project downtown, although that project has not yet been determined. Organizers are looking toward next year's festival, which they hope will maintain - if not eclipse - this year's successes. To do that, they will need to "have more Elvis," said DTMSA assistant director Jim High. "This year the Elvis influence showed us that it's a huge market for Elvis fans, and it attracted hundreds and hundreds of them from around the country and around the world," he said. "We'll continue to try to put as much Elvis in our next festivals as possible." That will include keeping a second stage for Elvis acts while maintaining a main stage for other headliners. "We've doubled the size of our festival," he said. "There's no way to back up now." A plan to fully support future festivals with corporate sponsorship is also in the works, with past president and organization committee co-chair Randy Burchfield saying getting more sponsors should be easier this year. "We struggled getting sponsors," he said, "but after this year we think it should be no problem."
Source: Elvis Information Network / Updated: Jul 13, 2006
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Reactions

Christy W (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 14, 2006report abuse
I want to say I enjoyed every minute of The Elvis Presley Festival in Tupelo. Not only did I enjoy Donny,Brandon, and Jamie, I also enjoyed seeing all my wonderful Elvis friends. All of the people at DTMSA really out done theirselves. That's for letting us be apart of Elvis' history. I wasn't only enough to see Elvis in person, but if this is as close as I get then that is fine with me. Keep up the good work.
June (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 13, 2006report abuse
The folks who organise the Elvis Festival are a great bunch and they try real hard to give us a memorable weekend each year. It was an amazing Festival this time. The re-enactment...Homecoming Parade and Concert was a touch of..genius. Jamie Aaron Kelley, Brandon Bennett and Donny Edwards, all gave high-energy performances...although, why we needed three 'Elvis' instead of one, remains a mystery. To meet some of the original fans who attended the '56 Concert was unreal, they gave very poignant recollections of their experiences on that day. As the sun was going down and the music echoed through the streets of Tupelo, it gave one shivers. It was as though, for one moment...we were back in time..our hero was alive and we were all teenagers again.

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