Wednesday sees the 40th anniversary of elvis presley’s death and, as with every year, his fans visited his Graceland grave to enjoy an annual candlelight vigil to the King which started Tuesday night. However this year people are not impressed by the fact that they had to pay $28.75 for the honor.

Visitors charged fee to enter Graceland for Elvis Presley vigil

As in previous, the vigil had been free of charge, many Elvis fans took exception to the new charge when attending Tuesday night’s vigil. On arrival, they discovered they needed an Elvis Week Property Pass wristband to allow them entry into Graceland and a chance to stroll up the driveway and past graves where Elvis and his family are buried.

As reported by KIRO7, Graceland had said in a written statement to AP that the new wristband will also give access to a new entertainment complex at the Memphis location, which reportedly cost some $45 million. Possibly they are trying to recoup some of that cost.

Security ramped up at Graceland for Elvis Presley vigil

Graceland, a popular tourist attraction in Memphis, is operated by Elvis Presley Enterprises and is expecting large crowds for Elvis Week. Reportedly security measures have been ramped up for the annual celebration, which gives tribute to Elvis’ life and movie and music career following his death in Memphis on August 16, 1977.

According to Graceland, an average of 500,000 visitors from all over the world attend the vigil each year. While accurate numbers are not available for Tuesday’s vigil, officials were expecting around 30,000 to 50,000 fans to attend.

Things might change, now with the new charge, with many fans angry as they didn’t expect to pay on arrival.

Some fans headed to social media to say they won’t be attending again.

Fox News quotes Fred Schwarz, a longtime Elvis fan from Springfield, Il., who said he and his wife have attended several of the vigils and have enjoyed them.

However, this year he doesn’t plan on heading to Graceland after hearing of the newly introduced charge, saying it insults fans. He says he doesn’t even want to go to Memphis again and that the people running Graceland are “not Elvis fans.” He added they are corporations in business, only interested in the bottom line.

While some fans appreciated that laying on security for the event costs money, Cheryl Skogen, a fan who traveled from Los Angeles for the event, said she didn’t think Elvis would like his fans being charged to attend his vigil.

New entertainment complex at Graceland

Meanwhile, the new entertainment complex at Graceland includes a 450-room hotel and also houses exhibits of Presley’s clothing, personal effects, and cars, which were previously housed in older buildings on the property.

Despite the controversy over the newly introduced charge of $28.75, thousands of fans attended the vigil Tuesday night, holding white candles. Elvis’ former wife Priscilla Presley and their daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, thanked the gathered crowd for their dedication and love before the procession started.

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