The 10th Anniversary of Elvis in the Gardens will be held on Sunday March 3 at the Auckland Botanic Gardens from 10am –6.30 pm – and it’s entirely free.
Organisers Katrina and Kerryn Winn started the event back in 2009 wanting to give back their professional skills to the community for a free Music Festival. Each year a bucket collection has collected funds for a chosen charity and this 10th year that charity will be the event itself!
“It takes us nine months to raise the $140k required to put this popular event on completely free,” says Katrina who works full time in a major corporate.
“It is increasingly more difficult to get corporate sponsorship support for community events and council funding has dropped to less than 10 per cent of the total cost.”
The Winns are determined to keep the event free and especially to ensure the children’s activities remain free so there are no financial barriers to any family attending.
This year, the six and half hours of non-stop music will include Kiwi favourites like Brendon Chase, Che Orton and Andy Stankovich. Also this year, instead of an Austalian ETA, Dean Craig from the UK will perform a set.
That apart, spectators can expect a world-class performance from headliner Dean Zelligman supported by the world renowned Tributes in Concert Band from Adelaide.
Considered by his peers to be the number one 50’s Elvis Tribute Artist in the world, Dean Z is now the ambassador for Elvis Presley Enterprises at Memphis week and is the heavy weight in the industry.
Until last year no member of Elvis’ family had ever visited New Zealand. This year Donna Presley will be there.
Donna, first cousin to Elvis Presley, will be attending the event for the second time. Not only was she blown away by the international standard of the event last year, she also maintained Dean Z was the best 50s tribute artist since Elvis.
Donna lived at Gracelands with Elvis until she married, then continued to visit daily when she worked for Vernon Presley up until Elvis’s death.
Katrina and Kerryn say that Donna is now the Patron of their Elvis NZ Club.
Attracting over 15,000 spectators each year, this family-friendly event has had thousands attend for nine consecutive years.
Elvis in the Gardens is now the largest single Elvis music concert of its kind in the world and visitor numbers from around the country and overseas increase year on year.
The event is held on the old Ellerslie Garden site with entry off the bottom of Everglade Drive and parking on site for up to 20,000 people.