Since 2018, I have been photographing the Elvies Festival in Porthcawl, a small seaside town battered constantly by cold winds. Every year for three days in September, every bar, and every street fills with over 30,000 Elvis fans. Venues are filled with people wearing Elvis glasses, wigs or costumes from every decade Elvis performed in, all singing along to their favourite songs performed by their favourite Elvis Tribute Artist. Women run up to the stage and receive a kiss on the cheek and a scarf. To this crowd, Elvis is still very much alive.

Over the years, my project has grown. I have made connections with many of the ETA’s and regular festival goers, meeting the same people year after year. I am not an Elvis fan, but I have been swept up in the joy and the love for Elvis that oozes out of every venue. I felt the nerves of the ETA’s going into the Best Elvis Competition as we waited backstage and would share their disappointment when they didn’t win.

Through the Elvies Festival, I began to explore the enduring power of fandom and the communal experience of shared passion. It transcends the music and embodies a collective celebration of individuality, nostalgia, and the spirit of Elvis Presley. My photographs seek to capture not just the visual spectacle of the festival but also the intangible moments – the shared laughter, the camaraderie, the sense of belonging, and the genuine emotion that binds Elvis fans together.

What began as a casual visit to an Elvis festival, has become an annual pilgrimage to Porthcawl, and transformed the experience into a profound exploration of the human connections formed amidst the tight jumpsuits, vibrant energy and nostalgia that define this extraordinary event.

It is a testament to the enduring legacy of Elvis Presley, who for a few days each year in a small Welsh town, continues to bring people together in a celebration that goes beyond time and generations. My work invites the viewers to immerse themselves in the unique world of The Elvies Festival, where the spirit of Elvis lives on in the hearts of those who gather to pay homage to The King.


Using Format