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The Beale Street Music Festival features more than 60 acts on four different stages and is held every year in Tom Lee Park. That’s where Beale Street meets up with the Mississippi River and the festival is where music lovers young and old immerse themselves in song and dance for an entire 3-day weekend.
Nominated for a Concert Industry Award for “Music Festival of the Year”, the Beale Street Music Festival is also on a “must do list” named by Playboy Magazine, something that they encourage people to do because of the fun, camaraderie and excellent music that’s featured there every year.
You’ll also find plenty of media being represented at the Beale Street Music Festival, including the likes of Billboard, MTV, VH1, the BBC, National Geographic magazine, Rolling Stone magazine and others from publications all of the world, international television networks and of course music networks far and wide.
The Beale Street Music Festival has been called the “Mardi Gras of the Mid-south” and past performers have included plenty of legends including Iggy Pop, Daughtry, ZZ Top, the Dave Matthews Band, Sammy Hagar, Charlie Daniels, Kansas, Cheap Trick, Daughtry, Peter Frampton, Widespread Panic, Bob Dylan, Blues Traveler, Bonnie Raitt, Wilson Pickett, the Allman Brothers, Puddle of Mud, Tom Petty, Shepherd, the Offspring, the Black Crowes, Ziggy Marley and Styx, among hundreds of others.
As a matter of fact, the Beale Street Music Festival has over the years grown into one of the biggest parties in the entire country and draws people from all over the United States come to celebrate the Blues, that expressive art form that came to be a celebration of life and ingrained itself into American history and the public consciousness.
Infused with raw emotion, Blues and the Beale Street Music Festival go together like beans and rice, and the best way to appreciate the festival is to go there with at least a moderate understanding of the roots from where the Blues came from, Memphis, Tennessee and Beale Street.
And boy is it a great way to get an education as, during the festival, people really appreciate and heartily enjoy everything that the festival has to offer. There are usually at least two dozen A-list performers over the course of the three-day festival at Tom Lee Park, spread out over four stages. Unlike many other festivals the Beale Street Music Festival lets concertgoers come and go as they please once they’ve entered the festival, allowing them to also take part in all of the goings-on happening on Beale Street at the same time the festival is happening.
Many talented local artists from Memphis perform their during the festival too and, for the cost of a dollar or two in tips from spectators, they put on various shows all over Beale Street while local vendors sell their food and drinks. In the evening it’s the same and, as guests dine and drink street-side, they are entertained by music from dozens of different musicians.
Speaking of food, practically anything you desire can be found during the festival including a wide variety of barbecue for which Memphis is known to be one of the best cities in the world. The fact is, there’s no place in the country that does BBQ like Memphis and that’s why the World Championship BBQ Cook-off is held there every year. Dyer’s Burgers is also there, serving up their world-famous deep-fried hamburgers that, interestingly, are deep-fried in the same grease that the restaurant has had since 1912 when it was founded. It’s strained daily to hold in the flavor of the meat that came before, and then passes that flavor along to every single burger that’s made there.
The Beale Street Music Festival had a little bit of something for everyone and, if you happen to be near Memphis when it’s being held, you’ll definitely want to come down and enjoy what’s become one of the favorite festivals in the US of A.