The Porthcawl Elvis Festival takes place from the third weekend in September but this is subject to change. The festival takes place from September 23 to 25 this year. Thousands of Elvis fans dressed in their best white jumpsuits and suede shoes travel from all over the world to Porthcawl in Wales for one of the biggest celebrations of Elvis.
It is a time for fans to gather and share a unique interest, the king of rock ‘n’ roll Elvis Presley. On this day, we pay tribute to the King’s legacy by sharing stories of his life through panel discussions, as well as celebrating through his music. There are so many other features at this festival to keep you thoroughly engaged, such as art exhibitions dedicated to Elvis, themed fashion contests, and much more.
History of Porthcawl Elvis Festival
Many of us have an idea of who this pop icon was, but we just want to shed a little more insight on why we are raising the roofs at Porthcawl this September.
Who was the king of rock ‘n’ roll? Elvis Aaron Presley was born of humble beginnings in Tupelo, Mississippi. Presley’s parents didn’t have a lot of money as he was growing up. His dad, Vernon Presley, worked odd jobs and was a farmer. His mother, Gladys was raised Christian and had strong faith. She was very protective of Elvis growing up, and both did their very best to provide for their only son.
In 1948, the Presleys moved to Memphis, Tennessee. While there, Elvis attended Humes High School, where we imagine he got his first taste of fame when he won a musical talent show. He graduated a few years after that in 1953, then started working a few odd jobs while chasing his musical career. In 1954 he teamed up with the legendary Sun Records label in Memphis, where Sam Phillips, the record producer, decided to take him under his wing.
Eventually, a band was put together with him on the acoustic guitar, and soon they were touring and recording. He already had quite a big personality and style, but it wasn’t until after the song ‘That’s All Right Mama’ that his musical personality was born.
Elvis had a vast range of musical influences, from pop to country music, to R&B, and gospel from all those days of listening to the choir in church. Not to mention, all that historic music he soaked up from Beale Street, Memphis. His sound was so very unique, with a high tenor voice and soothing blues rhythm, as well as those iconic dance moves and electric personality; it was no surprise he became the teen idol of his decade.
Porthcawl Elvis Festival timeline
The King is born to a poor family in a two-room house in Tupelo, Mississippi.
The Presleys move to Memphis, where Elvis goes to high school before moving on to get his first record deal.
Elvis meets President Richard Nixon.
Elvis passes away at his famous home in Graceland.
Porthcawl Elvis Festival FAQs
Where is the Biggest Elvis Festival?
The largest Elvis festival in the world, with venues cutting across 20 different locations with over 40,000 visitors is held in Porthcawl. The beach turns into an Elvis paradise once every year in September.
How did the Porthcawl Elvis Begin?
The show started when there were rumors of the Grand Pavilion being threatened with closure. Then, Peter Phillips, the festival organizer was asked if he had a show they could put up to keep it from shutting down, and voila, the Elvis A.K.A. the Porthcawl Elvis festival was born. It started as a small event but swiftly gained a lot of attraction over the years.
What Date is the Festival in 2022?
Since the pandemic, there have been setbacks towards many outdoor events, especially with a festival like this with expectant numbers as high as 40,000. There have been modifications to the beach too, so people can look forward to a jovial event being held from September 23 to 25.
Porthcawl Elvis Festival Activities
If there's ever a time to show us your costume skills, this is it. Dress up in your best Elvis Presley style.
Dance, dance, dance
Elvis had some iconic moves. Let's hope you've been practicing because it’s time to show off yours.
Perform a song
Elvis had a range of songs that could appeal to different people. If you're a performer, you can play your rendition of one of your favorite Presley jams.
5 Facts You Didn’t Know About Elvis Presley
He was also an actor
He was in two documentaries and 31 films, with his first movie being 1956’s “Love Me Tender.”
He was in the army
In March 1958, Elvis was inducted into the U.S. Army but was allowed to film “King Creole.”
Elvis was a twin
He had an identical twin brother, Jesse Garon Presley, who was stillborn and buried in Mississippi.
He only performed in North America
Elvis turned down gigs to perform abroad, except for a few concerts in Canada.
First guitar at 11
Though he wanted a rifle or a bicycle, his mom got him a guitar.
Why We Love Porthcawl Elvis Festival
For the love of music
Music brings us all together. It has been an important aspect of most of our lives and culture for as long as time can tell. Elvis’s music had range and his albums were top hits, selling millions of records. These accomplishments have made him music royalty.
For the legacy
As we now know, Elvis never performed abroad — except for a few shows in Canada. It is an opportunity for his music to be performed in a foreign land for many to see and appreciate.
For the love of Elvis
As a performer, he started a new music revolution; his tunes and scandalous dance moves at the time made him not only the King of rock and roll but also cool. His forwardness and style made him a unique character in pop culture history.
Porthcawl Elvis Festival dates