Midtown gears up for the Beale Street Music Festival

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – With just over a week to go before the Memphis festivities begin in May, preparations at Tiger Lane are well underway.

On Thursday, crews worked hard to build stages and seats for this year’s Beale Street Music Festival.

Instead of the Mississippi River and downtown Memphis as the backdrop, it will be the Liberty Bowl and Midtown. We spoke with VP of Marketing Randy Blevins about the new location.

“Two of the main stages will have the Liberty Bowl behind them and the third main stage will have [East] Parkway behind them,” Blevins said. “So it creates like a triangle of central music and all of Memphis. Tiger Lane, right in the middle, will be where all the action takes place.

To help reduce traffic in the area, a free MATA shuttle between two downtown locations and the fairgrounds will depart every ten minutes.

There will also be a shuttle from the University of Memphis. You must register before Monday, April 25 to reserve your place.

“We expect a lot of congestion when you bring so many people in town to one place. Just be patient, plan ahead, and hopefully some of the shuttles and reserved parking will help alleviate some of that,” Blevins said.

Brennah Hutchison said they’re used to congestion.

“[I’m] not too worried about it,” Hutchinson said. “We actually live pretty close to the Liberty Bowl. So we are sort of used to heavy traffic and parking in the area.

Change of venue also means big business. In 2019, the city of Memphis saw a $150 million economic impact from the festival, mostly downtown.

This year, Midtown will see the financial impact.

“It will be nice to have it here for a change to see everyone passing through the store, it will be fun,” said Hunter Williams of Grivet Outdoors.

“It will be interesting to see what kind of boost in the arm Midtowners see this year,” Blevins said.

Safety is also a top priority. Randy Blevins said despite the venue change, safety remains a top priority.

“Our goal is for people to have fun and enjoy what we produce, but also for all of our events to be safe,” Blevins said.

There is also a Memphis in May app that you can download which will be an interactive guide to everything you need to know.

This will be the first Beale Street Music Festival since 2019. The past two years have been canceled due to COVID.