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 northern Alberta, Canada at the Ag Grounds in Westlock, Alberta. This festival was started as a way to keep the memory of Elvis and his music alive and to allow tribute artists to come and pay homage to the King of Rock and Roll in a non-competitive setting. It takes place outdoors in a province that has the most Elvis fans in Canada!
The festival was born in 2009 out of an idea to have a few of our tribute artist friends come put to our acreage in August to perform a show for our friends and neighbors in a casual “house party” type of atmosphere.
Because the performers were donating their time, we asked for a Food Bank donation to get in. Over 100 people showed up and the night was filled with great music, singing and dancing!
The next day we discussed things and decided that Alberta needed a non-competitive Elvis festival- the Blue Suede Music Festival was born!!
In 2010 over 250 people came and in 2011 we had 530 people sign a guest book and had 32 RV’s on our yard! We realized this was going to get BIG so we started looking for a place to move it to while keeping the feel that we had at our place. In 2012 we moved it to the Busby Sports Grounds and kept it there for 8 years with the last year there being 2019.
The number of tribute artists and the crowd steadily grew every year and now we consistently have well over 3500 people that come to enjoy some of the best music created, presented by anywhere from 14-20 Elvis Tribute Artists from all over Canada and the US!
Over 4600 POUNDS of food was donated in 2019 by Elvis fans who came from all over the world to celebrate the music of Elvis Presley! Over $2200 was given directly to the Food Banks at the gates by those who forgot a food donation. Funds from the beautiful quilt handmade by Tammy Stromberg and donated to the Festival brought in another $3500 for the Food Banks. After bills were paid the Festival gave another $10,000 to the 3 Food Banks and The Ripple Connection!
We are excited for the future of this Festival and are pleased to announce that starting in 2020 we will be holding it at the Ag Grounds in Westlock, Alberta.