‘All Shook Up’ – A Weekend At The Elvis Festival, Porthcawl

Every year our little town in Porthcawl, South Wales (population 16,000) holds an annual Elvis Festival. This is now one of the biggest Elvis festivals in the world attracting over 35,000 fans, that’s a lot of fans and a lot of people dressed up as Elvis!

In The Ghetto
Elvis Park Run

The Elvis 5K Park Run – ‘Run Elvis, Run!’

The background to how the Elvis Festival has grown is interesting. In 2004 author, show and film producer Peter Phillips attended an Elvis festival in Minnesota and thought it would be a great idea in Wales where he was originally from. He then got together with the owner of the Grand Pavilion theatre Porthcawl, pitched an Elvis tribute show and the Elvis Festival was born.
Over time and with support from local venues in particularly The High Tide bar and venue, the Elvis Festival has grown.

All Shook Up
Suspicious Minds

‘Elvis’ metting his fans

Central to the festival is the ‘Elvies’, a prestigious award show for Elvis Tribute artists held at The Grand Pavilion. Past winners include Elvis Desley and Darren ‘Graceland’ Jones, yes there are a lot of Elvis tribute acts with puns in their names!

Hound Dog
Hound Dog - Dog Show

The Elvis ‘Hound Dog’ dog show

Fast forward to 2017 and the show has made a conscious effort to become more family friendly after concerns that it was becoming too alcohol driven and it is all the better for it. A family centred ‘no alcohol’ zone on the promenade was home to an Elvis dog lookalike competition, complete with matching outfits. Awards going to the best Elvis lookalike as well as the best Priscilla lookalike and the best hound ‘pound’ dog. It surely was a fun event.

Suspicious Minds
Elvis In The Sun

Elvis fun in the sun

This year the show was better than ever, yes there are people singing ‘Suspicious Minds‘ at the top of their drunken voice, but the security presence was reassuring, and the police even joined in on the fun wearing Elvis sunglasses and sideburns. With a combination of ticketed events and free events and many of the pubs having singers which you did not have to pay to see, if you are fans of Elvis, it’s certainly a place to come. The Elvis Festival has put Porthcawl on the map and that can only be a good thing.

The Elvis Police

The ‘Elvis’ Police


A weekend at the Elvis Festival, Porthcawl, Wales, 2017

A Weekend At The Elvis Festival, Porthcawl – Pin For Later

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  • Maxine
    September 30, 2017 at 9:24 am

    This looks so entertaining! I bet the dogs are super cute to see all dressed up!

    • Mr and Mrs W
      September 30, 2017 at 11:21 pm

      One of the dogs was actually called ‘Elvis’

  • Anna Johnston
    September 30, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    How much fun would it be to attend an Elvis festival. We also have one here in Australia, in the state of NSW at Parkes, a country town that overflows with Elvis look a likes once a year too.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      September 30, 2017 at 11:25 pm

      A flock of Australian Elvises sound fun. We had a couple of Spanish ones and an Indian Elvis over the weekend.

  • Linda de Beer
    October 1, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    Oh my word, some of those wigs are just too much. Love the idea of a Hound Dog Show. Can imagine that Elvis is still very popular in the UK. Porthcawl looks like a great place for such a festival.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      October 1, 2017 at 7:11 pm

      Lucky it wasn’t a windy day otherwise some of those hair pieces would have been blowing down the street. I think Elvis is more popular than ever, most of the impersonators weren’t even born when he was still alive.

  • anto
    October 2, 2017 at 8:09 am

    Looks like so much fun! Elvis was a little before my time but I’m sure my mum would have loved this!

    • Mr and Mrs W
      October 2, 2017 at 5:51 pm

      Lots of young people take part too. Most of the people dressing up and the impersonators weren’t born when Elvis was still alive.

  • Elisa
    October 2, 2017 at 8:44 pm

    What a funny article and show, I loved how you split the post using Elvis’ songs. I am not an Elvis rave fan, just like some of his songs, but it would be funny to attend this show once in my life . . .

    • Mr and Mrs W
      October 2, 2017 at 9:24 pm

      It is good fun whether you are an Elvis fan or not. Don’t forget your wig.

  • Drew
    October 2, 2017 at 11:33 pm

    That’s hilarious. I had no idea that there was a Elvis festival in Wales! Who knew? Elvis impersonators are always entertaining, especially the slightly “bulkier” 70s Elvis. I have family in Memphis and have visited Graceland before. The popularity of Elvis hasn’t seemed to wane.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      October 3, 2017 at 10:03 am

      Yes, I think he more popular now than ever. Although not big Elvis fans ourselves we did visit Graceland last year.

  • Dave
    October 3, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    Easily THE most awesome festival in Wales! I love the way the police seem relaxed in that photo as well. It seems like a cool place to let everything go, and enjoy yourself. Viva Las Porthcawl!

    • Mr and Mrs W
      October 3, 2017 at 5:30 pm

      It was a good laugh, it did get to be a bit of a drinking binge with a lot of trouble a few years ago but it’s been cleaned up lately.

  • Jennifer
    October 3, 2017 at 9:29 pm

    This looks like a super entertaining festival, if nothing more than for the people watching! I grew up listening to Elvis. My grandmother was obsessed and my parents were from his era of music. I can’t help but singing along when an Elvis song comes on.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      October 4, 2017 at 8:31 pm

      You would love it even if it’s just watching the fans and some of the outfits.

  • Lydia Smith
    October 3, 2017 at 10:12 pm

    My dog would love the dog hound show. I’m sure about that. Especially when it involves dressing up, that’s how cute she can be. Good to hear they tried tonincoprorate other activities to reduce the level of alcohol intake of the show partakers. I can imagine what the show used to look like.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      October 4, 2017 at 8:33 pm

      They actually have a family zone and an area with no alcohol. Also, it is much better organised than it used to be.

  • Meg Jerrard
    October 4, 2017 at 2:59 am

    I wouldn’t have guessed that Wales holds the biggest Elvis festival in the world – how cool! Haha I love how they incorporate different themes throughout to tie in with his song names, from suspicious minds to hound dog – great that they’ve made a conscious effort to produce a very family friendly event.

    Love it! Would love to make it next year.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      October 4, 2017 at 8:35 pm

      This year was good as it seemed much better organised and family friendly. The nicer weather (which we can’t rely upon in Wales) did help a lot.

  • Keith Hunt
    October 22, 2017 at 12:56 pm

    Seems odd looking at this after spending a lot of time in the 1980s / 90s being around Colonel Parker, The Memphis mafia and his step brother David Stanley.