Porthcawl Elvis Festival 2015: The first day saw the seaside resort getting … – WalesOnline

Hundreds of Elvis Presley fans rolled into Porthcawl for the annual festival to celebrate the king of rock and roll once again.

Tribute acts, super-fans and those in search of a fun weekend with some lip-snarling entertainment were getting into the swing of things on Friday (September 25) and hoping they would last out the party until Sunday, September 27.

Stopping traffic: Michael ‘ Vegas’ Rees and Andy Jones

Across the weekend there’ll be artists performing, Elvis competitions and lots of drinking and soaking up the sun.

One man who is an experienced Elvis Festival goer is John Bodycombe from Bridgend, a longtime fan of the hip-swinging singer and his favourite song is Suspicious Minds – he has been coming to the festival for 13 years.

“The singing, the music, everything about him really,” said John, when asked to explain why he loves Elvis.

“I’ve been coming to the festival since it started and it’s always an absolutely brilliant atmosphere, people are friendly you can have a chat.

“I’ve been performing as Elvis for 13 years I’ve sung around a lot of the clubs in the area and the Valleys – I’ve had a few knickers thrown at me!”

Donna Wosik and Jayne Jones , both from Swansea, are pictured dancing to Elvis songs on the esplanade

Another life-long Elvis fan is Allan Holloway – aka “Alvis” – who has been coming to the festival for five years from his home in Neath – he’s visited Elvis Festivals in both Brighton and Blackpool but having one in Porthcawl is a real treat.

Elvis memorabilia on sale at the Grand Pavilion

He says: “When I was a kid in the seventies he was just brilliant. The music, the jumpsuit, the whole shebang was all brilliant. I love all the old gospel and blues and Hound Dog gets the crowds going.

“It’s a way to let yourself go and be a part of him. It’s fantastic that it’s on the doorstep.”

Elvis Presley sings on Porthcawl esplanade

Michael “Vegas” Rees from Newcastle Emlyn said: “I started singing in the local pubs and it escalated from there

“I was meant to compete but I came down with a massive cold and I didn’t want to.

“Third year now, first year as a spectator and second year I came second in the amateur competitions, bit I’m singing around the venues.

“It’s such a party atmosphere and everyone loves Elvis so it’s a great party time.

“His was the first song I remember my parents playing, so I’ve been a fan since I was about four years old.

“I love to perform Polk Salad Annie – that’s my favourite.”

Alan, John and Michael took up the challenge to give the Welsh rugby team an Elvis-themed good luck wish too, see the video below:

During the weekend the Hi Tide restaurant, official sponsor of The Porthcawl Elvis Festival, will host 50 ETAs (Elvis Tribute Artists) who will perform in more than 100 shows in four bars during the weekend.

Adrian Edwards of Barry, as Elvis Presley

Tomorrow afternoon at the Porthcawl Grand Pavilion fans will get two shows for the price of one – Heat Two of the Best Festival Elvis followed by the Grand Final.

And in the evening The Elvies – the most prestigious award show in the World for Elvis Tribute Artists – take to the stage.

On a weeks holiday from Tredegar are Janine Pugh, and her daughter Sophie Price, 16

Any remaining tickets for Elvis Festival shows can now be purchased from the Porthcawl Pavilion Box Office on 01656 815995.

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