Keeping the King’s memory
Don’t be alarmed by the white sparkly jumpsuits and blue suede shoes invading the Auckland Botanic Gardens on March 1.
Six Elvis tribute artists and a live band directed by musical director Rodger Fox will be bringing the songs and soul of the King of Rock and Roll to life at the sixth annual Elvis in the Gardens concert.
Concert creator and Elvis performer Kerryn Winn says the free event isn’t just for die-hard Elvis fans.
‘‘Our dream was to create something where the community got together and just chilled out with family and friends and enjoyed professional performers,’’ he says.
The event’s grown bigger and better since it started six years ago.
Winn and his wife Katrina held the first concert in Bombay but numbers outgrew the venue and they moved it to the Botanic Gardens in 2012. Now Winn says there are people from overseas who plan their holidays down under so they coincide with Elvis in the Gardens.
International performers were introduced last year, including the world’s top Elvis tribute artist Ben Portsmouth, who is back again this year.
It’s not just ‘‘oldies’’ who come along, either.
‘‘We’re amazed at how many young people enjoy Elvis and know the music. He’s well-loved in the young community.
‘‘I don’t think his memory will ever die.’’
Every year the event helps raise money for charity through bucket collections and this year’s chosen charity is Diabetes NZ Auckland.
As well as the on-stage entertainment, there will be free children’s activities like bouncy castles and face painting, as well as food and refreshments.