Look Inside the Fandom of Elvis Week 2017
On the 40th anniversary of his death, thousands of people swarmed Graceland to celebrate Presley's life and legacy. Graceland estimated that about 50,000 people came to the event.
Each year in August, Graceland, Elvis' home in Memphis, Tennessee, hosts a series of events known as “Elvis Week.” Festivities include dance parties, gospel music concerts, and a candlelight vigil. Priscilla Presley, Elvis' former wife, and Lisa-Marie Presley, his only daughter, were both in attendance.
"“This is the largest anniversary we have ever, ever had, so I want to thank you all,” Priscilla Presley told festival-goers. “You are keeping Elvis Presley alive.”
Los Angeles-based photographer and fan of the festival, Daniel Gonçalves, traveled to Memphis for the second year in a row to get an inside glimpse into the world of Elvis and his biggest fans.
Elvis Presley Boulevard
The house where Elvis lived, which he referred to as “Graceland,” is visited by people from all over the world.
Young Elvis Impersonators
Riley Jenkins (left), 15, from Clarksville, Tennessee, saw Elvis for the first time on television when he was three years old, and started performing as an Elvis tribute artist when he was six years old. Riley posed for a portrait before his performance at Mary Jo's Elvis Rockin' Oldies at the Magnuson Hotel in Memphis.
Cliff Moody (right) poses for a portrait in Memphis, during Elvis Week. Cliff is an Elvis tribute artist from British Columbia. His business card reads, “I may not be the king but I'm the next best thing.”
Dad's Place at the Magnuson Hotel
Elvis' special booth at Dad's Place at the Magnuson Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee.
At the Gates
Sisters Maria Boem (left) and Linda Thorne (right), from the U.K., visited Memphis, Tennessee, for the first time for Elvis Week. Linda lost her husband two years ago, and it had always been a dream to visit Graceland. The two sisters wrote the names of 45 of their friends, who couldn't make it in person, on the gate walls of Graceland.
The Kiss Wall
This wall in Elvis' bedroom, in the apartment at Lauderdale Courts, is covered with lipstick from fan's kisses. It's where Elvis lived the longest when he was growing up, from 1949-1953.
John Reid prepares for a performance at Mary Jo's Elvis Rockin' Oldies at the Magnuson Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee. John is an Elvis tribute artist from Scotland. He has been performing as an “Elvis Tribute Artist” — or an “ETA” — for 23 years. “Elvis has been very good to me,” he said.
The living room at Graceland.
Fans and fan clubs leave memorials and decorate the meditation garden where Elvis Presley is buried at Graceland.
40 Years of Tears
Fans from all over the world write inscriptions on Graceland's gate walls. One inscription reads, “40 years of tears.”
Elvis fans from all over the world stand in front of Graceland, where Elvis is buried, for the candlelight vigil during Elvis Week in Memphis, Tennessee.
Souvenirs and Memories
On the left, a cutout of Elvis outside of a souvenir shop on Beale Street. On the right, fans set up memorials on Elvis Presley Boulevard, in front of Graceland, prior to the start of the candlelight vigil on the 40th anniversary of Elvis' death.
Waiting to Go On
Elvis tribute artists Riley Jenkins (left), 15, from Clarksville, Tennessee, and Austin Irby (right), 21, from South Carolina before their performances at Mary Jo's Elvis Rockin' Oldies at the Magnuson Hotel in Memphis.
The television room in the house where Elvis lived.
Fans set up memorials on Elvis Presley Boulevard, in front of Graceland.