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Memphis Honours Legacy of Two ‘Kings’ During Milestone Anniversaries

June 27, 2017 Whats On No Comments Email Email

Memphis, known as the Birthplace of Rock ‘n’ Roll and a city with pivotal ties to the American Civil Rights movement, has unveiled plans to honour two pioneers of music and social justice during milestone anniversaries taking place in 2017 and 2018.

The story of Memphis is one of pain, triumph, strength and innovation. From Civil Rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to Elvis Presley who started a music revolution – history and culture are one and the same in Memphis. These music and Civil Rights stories mark significant anniversaries over the next 12 months and will be remembered with special events and exhibits that serve to honour two great icons in American history.


Australia is the third largest international market for Memphis (behind Canada and UK),  packing their blue suede shoes and heading to the Birthplace of Rock ‘n’ Roll for a music pilgrimage that leads to Elvis Presley’s famed Memphis mansion, Graceland. An even greater surge of Aussies is expected to visit this August during the 40th anniversary celebration of the life and legacy of Elvis Presley, the undisputed King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. The annual event features live music and special events at Graceland and coincides with the passing of Elvis Presley on 16 August, 1977.

In anticipation of the largest crowd on record, a variety of events are scheduled over nine days for Elvis Week 2017. Events on the calendar fromAugust 11-19 include appearances by celebrities and musicians, the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest Finals, a fan club conference, and the signature live music event: the 40th Anniversary Celebration Concert Event – Elvis: The Wonder of You – at the FedExForum on August 16, 2017. In this new, live concert experience, a symphony orchestra performs live on stage with Elvis on the big screen. The concert will feature a special personal appearance by Priscilla Presley and other surprise guests.

The cornerstone event, the Candlelight Vigil, will begin on Tuesday, August 15, at 8:30 p.m. at the gates of Graceland and will continue well into the morning of the 16th, commemorating the day Elvis passed away at the age of 42. Fans will get the opportunity to walk up the driveway to the Meditation Garden, accompanied by Elvis’ music. This event lasts throughout the night as thousands of participants are expected to gather on Elvis Presley Boulevard listening to music, remembering Elvis and enjoying the memorials that are created by fans along the street.

This will be the first Elvis Week since Graceland’s $137 million USD expansion, which includes the 450-room AAA Four-Diamond Guest House at Graceland resort hotel and the new, multi-million dollar entertainment and exhibit complex, Elvis Presley’s Memphis, featuring a variety of exhibits, attractions, restaurants and themed retail stores.

Most events will take place at the new Graceland Soundstage, a state-of-the-art production and performance space in the heart of Graceland’s new entertainment and exhibit complex, Elvis Presley’s Memphis, directly across the street from Graceland Mansion.

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