By Annie Reuter
August 16 marks the 40th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death and thousands of fans will travel to the late singer’s home in Memphis, Tenn. to pay their respects. This year, the visitation comes with a price.
For decades, fans would travel to Graceland to remember the King without paying. This year, however, things have changed. The entrance price to walk past Presley’s grave is now $28.75 and fans aren’t too happy about it.
“I looked forward to going down there this year, and they come up with all this,” longtime Presley fan Fred Schwarz told FOX. “I don’t want to even go to Memphis anymore. The people running that are not Elvis fans. They are in business. Corporations, they want the bottom line.”
On Tuesday evening (August 15), the annual candlelight vigil was held commemorating Presley’s death. The vigil runs through Wednesday and this time fans had to purchase an Elvis Week Property Pass wristband to be allowed to walk up the driveway and visit the graves where Presley and his relatives are buried.
“In order to keep everyone safe and ensure an enjoyable and meaningful event for all, we have worked closely with local, state and federal security authorities to establish new procedures that have been widely used across the U.S.,” Elvis Presley Enterprises, owners of the Graceland property explained in a statement.
While some are upset about the new charges to visit Presley’s grave, their safety remains a major priority to the establishment and the reason a fee has been added. An estimated 30,000 to 50,000 people are expected to descend on Graceland this week to pay tribute to the late singer. Presley died on August 16, 1977, in Memphis.