We chose August as the month and for the first 3 years, the middle of the month was the weekend we chose to commemorate the anniversary of Elvis' death on August 16th. This is also Elvis week in Memphis every year so it was decided to hold our own tribute to the King then as well. However, we now have tribute artists who go to Memphis that week that also want to come here so we have changed our dates to the end of August. Now the tribute artists and the fans who want to go to both Memphis and the Blue Suede Music Festival can do so!
The first year, 2009, we sent out a few emails and made a few phone calls to invite people to come and see the show. However, once word got out about this event there was no stopping the Elvis fans from turning out! Some pulled in off the highway just to see what it was all about once they saw the signs. Some stopped at the driveway, asked some questions and left only to return later armed with lawn chairs, their own refreshments and food bank donations. Soon motor home starting pulling in and the party was on! When all was said and done there were over 100 people here (half which we didn't even know- so much for just friends and neighbors!) and over 250 pounds of non perishable food was donated for local area Food Banks
Gospel music was the type of music Elvis loved to sing the most. His mother Gladys, was closely involved with the Pentecostal church so Elvis grew up listening to live Gospel music. As a young boy, he was known to run down the aisle to be nearer the choir. Even after performing 2 concerts a night, Elvis and his entourage would return to the hotel where Elvis would sing gospel until the wee hours of the morning. Elvis won his first Grammy award in 1967 for the gospel album "How Great Thou Art". The album won an second Grammy in 1974. In 1972 he won another Grammy with the gospel album "He Touched Me". He said "Gospel music is the purest thing there is on the earth".
That is why we have a Sunday morning Gospel show here at the Blue Suede Music Festival.
We did have a few people ask if they needed to dress up like Elvis to come. No, you do not have to but if you want to, by all means, do so!! Early the next day, plans started for the next one. We went over what we needed to do to make it bigger and better for the next year. We decided a concession will be added, restroom facilities (people felt uncomfortable going into our house to use the facilities), an actual raised stage, more lighting, more parking, an RV area and radio and tv coverage. It was also decided to add a Sunday morning gospel show in our second year, complete with pancake breakfast. It truly did take on a life of its own! We now have people coming from all over Canada and the US and anticipate more each year.
Come out and enjoy a weekend dedicated to the memory of the King. Bring your RV's, lawn chairs, and a donation to the Food Bank and be prepared to be entertained like you have never been entertained before!! We also are pleased to offer a cash beer garden and a number of silent auctions and vendors. There will be plenty of photo ops with the performers so don't forget your cameras!
"One of the most incredible honors was bestowed upon me in August of 2014 when I was contacted and told I had been chosen as a "Global Woman of Vision" for what I have developed the Festival into. The segment on me was run on Sept 1 on Global TV. It was so much fun having a camera crew and Lesley McDonald out at the acreage to shoot footage for the segment and then to have them at the Festival on Saturday afternoon to shoot footage from there and to see for themselves what goes on. Lesley was stunned to see the crowd- it was fun to see her reaction. It is still kind of hard to believe that I was chosen for this award, I never thought what I did was anything that special."
All performers pictured on this web site have either performed at the Blue Suede Festival or we have seen them perform in person and all their pictures appear on this site with their permission.
Want to add a bit of Elvis to your special occasion ?
CONTACT US HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION OF THE FANTASTIC TRIBUTE ARTISTS WE KNOW THAT ARE AVAILABLE FOR BIRTHDAYS, ANNIVERSARIES, FAMILY REUNIONS AND WEDDINGS ETC.
This year's Festival was a HUGE success, thanks to the hard work of a ton of family members and friends, the Busby Lions Club, Busby Fish and Game and the Busby Firefighters and Paramedics who all pitched in to help the entire weekend as well as the days before to get the grounds, concession and beer gardens set up. Approx 4500 people were entertained all weekend and we are proud to say there were no mishaps (except for one fellow who over indulged in the beer gardens!) and everyone had smiles on their faces for 3 days straight!
On Saturday the 2 silent auctions were manned by Kelly and Stephen Anthony and my sister Colleen. The tables and the Oiler's memorabilia were set up quickly and efficiently thanks to these 3 people! The silent auctions and the signed Oiler's items brought in over $4200.00!!
Once again THANK YOU to all the performers and my amazing MC, Mike Schell from Kelowna, BC who devoted these 3 days to entertaining YOU, the best Elvis fans ever!!!! Some of the performers came from great distances (Western Canada, the US and also from the east coast of Canada) to perform at this Festival and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Without you, there would be no Festival! The KING would be proud!!!
Welcome to the site of the Blue Suede Music Festival, held in beautiful Northern Alberta, Canada at the sports grounds in Busby, Alberta. This festival was started as a way to keep Elvis' music and memory alive and to allow for tribute artists to come and pay homage to the greatest entertainer that ever was, Elvis Presley, the KING of Rock and Roll in a beautiful outdoor setting in a province that has the most Elvis fans in Canada! The festival was born out of an idea to have a few of our tribute artist friends come out to our acreage to perform a concert in August for our friends and neighbors in a casual "house party" atmosphere. The tribute artists said they would donate their time so we decided instead of charging for the festival, a Food Bank donation would be required to get in. The night was filled with music, singing, dancing, Elvis trivia contests, fireworks and a whole lotta fun!
The huge crowd that came in 2011 (530 signed the guestbook!) made us realize that this was going to get BIG and we needed to move it off our acreage. The search was on for the best place to hold this growing Festival while still keeping the atmosphere that we had at our acreage.
We found the perfect place and 2012 was the first year we held it up at the Sports Grounds in Busby, Alberta. We welcomed approx. 1500 Elvis fans to the Blue Suede Music Festival the first year it was held in Busby! In 2013 the number rose to approx. 2600 and in 2014 there was over 3500 Elvis fans all gathered in Busby to hear 16 Elvis Tribute Artists pay homage to the greatest entertainer that ever lived!
Due to the number of tribute artists now coming to donate their time to entertain you, some coming from great distances, and to cover the thousands of dollars needed to put on a huge Festival such as this, we need to charge a small gate fee which goes to help cover the travelling expenses for the performers and the growing costs to put on the Festival.
A non-perishable Food Bank donation is also required as in previous years.
Over 4100 pounds of food was donated in 2016 by Elvis fans who came from all over Canada and the US to enjoy a full weekend of Elvis music and camaraderie. In addition to the food donated at the gate, almost $2100 in cash was given directly to the Food Banks by those who forgot to bring a food donation. Also, the Festival then gave $10,800 to the 3 Food Banks and The Ripple Connection.
This weekend could not happen without the incredible support from the Busby Lion’s Club, the Busby Community League, the Busby Fish and Game, the Busby Firefighters and Paramedics, the many, many volunteers and especially our families who come every year to work tirelessly to make this happen. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for devoting so much of your time to make this weekend such a huge success! Each and every one of you is appreciated so very much!”