Ticket sales were disappointing this year and 2005 could be the last year for the Elvis Presley Festival, organizers say. The Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association has reported a loss of $5,465 for the 2004 festival. It was sixth year of the event which concluded Saturday.
This is the second consecutive year the event has lost money, organizers said. In 2003, the festival lost $2,642. "We can break even or make a little money, but we can't keep losing money," said Jim High, assistant director of Main Street.
The Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau cut its total allotment of contributions to the festival from $100,000 in 2003 to $50,000 in 2004. "We love festivals," said Linda Butler Johnson, CVB executive director. "And we love to help with seed money, but over a period of time we need to pull back and let them stand on their own feet."
Gary Bailey, festival chairman, said there are no plans to stop the downtown Tupelo festival after 2005, but it's a possibility if revenues don't outpace expenditures. "It is a serious situation," Bailey said. "We have to do whatever we can to make it successful next year." Presley was born in Tupelo.
The event has drawn some well-known musical acts in the last six years, including B.B. King and Rock-n-Roll pioneer Little Richard. High said the festival will most likely remain a two-day, ticketed event on Friday and Saturday with a free gospel program on Sunday. Bailey said the festival committee's overriding aim is to stay within its budget in 2005.
Source: Google / Updated: Aug 26, 2004