Elvis inspires exciting VIVA Bendigo tourism activation campaign

In celebration of the much-anticipated Elvis: Direct from Graceland exhibition at Bendigo Art Gallery, a new VIVA Bendigo marketing campaign has been launched to pay homage to the king of rock and roll.

Mayor Cr Andrea Metcalf said Graceland remained one of the top visitor attractions in the United States so to secure this exclusive blockbuster exhibition at the Gallery was fantastic news for Greater Bendigo.

“The exhibition comes at an exciting time for our region with a new sense of optimism in the air to reinvigorate our tourism market and help our local business community’s recovery,” Cr Metcalf said.

 “The VIVA Bendigo marketing campaign is bringing Elvis fever to the region with fun experiences, events and attractions, together with themed food and drink menus fit for a king.

“With different themed night activations and plenty of selfie-spots for people to enjoy and share, this campaign will be a great way to encourage visitors to stay longer in our region and add Greater Bendigo to the diary as a must-see destination over the coming months.

More than 30 Elvis themed experiences and events around Bendigo are being planned to coincide with the exhibition, which opens on Saturday March 19.

Enjoy a taste of Las Vegas in Bendigo with a unique night activation experience at the Piazza in Rosalind Park which will light up with the glittering letters ‘VIVA BENDIGO’ each night during the exhibition. The theme is inspired by the iconic Las Vegas signs and the Elvis’ iconic musical movie, Viva Las Vegas.

The extravagant steel letters stand 2.1 metres high and have been created at the Bendigo Tramways workshop. Each letter bares the lyrics to some of Elvis’ favourite songs. It’s the ideal selfie spot with Elvis hits playing in the background. It will be installed during the opening week of the exhibition.

“Bendigo's public activations that celebrate blockbuster exhibitions at the Gallery have become hugely popular over the years with residents and visitors and they are now eagerly anticipated.

“This latest activation, ‘VIVA BENDIGO’, follows the Royal Pop-Up Tram and Mary Quant mural activations from recent exhibitions.”

The Conservatory in Rosalind Park will be transformed into another activation space for visitors and residents to enjoy. Staff from the City’s Parks and Open Space are developing an interactive display that pays homage to one of Elvis’ favourite hangouts. The initial stages of the display are open to the public to enjoy now, with the final touches and ‘wow factor’ to be added closer to exhibition opening.  

Themed music events are planned at various locations. Bendigo Venues & Events will be hosting a special series at the Engine Room to celebrate music inspired by the king of rock and roll. Details of the top performers headlining the series will be announced shortly.

Free activities in Hargreaves Mall are also planned, including music performance from Blues and Roots musicians, family fun activations, along with regular Elvis movies screenings in the Mall. Many music events are being held at various locations in the city centre.

The City is working closely with Bendigo Tourism members who are celebrating the arrival of the exhibition with themed menus, fashion, accessories, desserts, cocktails, attractions and experiences. Bendigo Visitor Centre will also display souvenirs created by local producers as part of its Uniquely Bendigo range and offer themed accommodation packages.

Here’s a snapshot of some of the many activities from Bendigo Tourism members. Please check availability with the operators.

  • A Shake Rattle & Roll Cocktail Tram will run every Saturday evening playing songs from Elvis’ era. Passengers can enjoy an Elvis-themed cocktail while taking in Bendigo’s picturesque streetscape
  • Watch the king on the silver screen at Star Cinema with regular movie nights during the exhibition duration
  • Many hospitality businesses will be offering Elvis-inspired menus and drinks from cocktails to beers or special events ranging from a Vegas inspired wedding venue, movie or themed nights at wineries, blue suede choux pastries, a rock n roll trivia quiz, paint, rattle and roll rockabilly night and a pub choir singing Elvis hits
  • Elvis inspired accommodation packages will be available through the Bendigo Visitor Centre such as the ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ and ‘Can’t help falling in love with this Package’

For the full VIVA Bendigo program, visithttps://www.bendigoregion.com.au/explore-bendigo

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