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Elvis has left the building

The annual Blue Suede Music Festival has been cancelled
WES blue suede
Always a popular performer at the Blue Suede Musical Festival who has had great success in his Elvis tributes is Adam Fitzpatrick. This was from the 2018 Festival in Busby. Les Dunford/Westlock News

WESTLOCK – It’s going to be a pretty quiet summer, with so many activities cancelled. And although some of the businesses starting to re-open this past week, and more to follow, most are betting it will still be some time yet before any event with a large gathering will be allowed.

An annual event that Elvis Presley fans looked forward to near the end of August each year was the Blue Suede Music Festival, started and organized each year by Trudy Taphorn, herself an avid Elvis fan.

Each year, she has had as many as a dozen Elvis Tribute Artists (ETA’s) attend the Blue Suede Music Festival at Busby Sports Grounds, donating their time and talent to the delight of a large number of Elvis fans.

This year, due to some changes, Taphorn was planning to move the annual festival to the Westlock Agriculture Society grounds on the west side of Westlock. The dates set were August 28-29-30.

“Unfortunately, and sadly, I have had to cancel the event this year,” she told T&C recently.

Some of her ETA’s have come from the USA in the past, and other from B.C. and Ontario, for example. Plus arranging for the outdoor stage, sound and lights all have to be booked well in advance, and if things had to be cancelled at the last minute, Taphorn would be a great deal out-of-pocket. She doesn’t make money from the festival. Monies raised from attendance pay for the stage and sound and lights set-up, travel for her ETA’s,  and of course, grounds fees. Anything left over has been given over to local food banks. She puts a lot of time and effort into the arrangements for the festival, and it isn’t about money. For her, it has always been a labour of love to host the Blue Suede Music Festival, and let others enjoy the songs and music of Elvis Presley.

This would have been the 12th Annual Blue Suede Music Festival, and Taphorn says she was looking forward to having it held in Westlock this year. But she promises, as long as things get back to ‘normal,’ the Music Festival will be held once again next year. She added anyone who had already paid for a preferred parking spot at the Festival, that will be honored next year.

But for now, well, sad to say, Elvis has left the building.

Les Dunford,

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