Main Street Vendor Permit
The Downtown Memphis Commission is the designated management entity for the Main Street Mall, a pedestrian and trolley thoroughfare on Main Street from Exchange Avenue to Peabody Place. DMC issues permits for any activity on the Mall, such as food and merchandise vendors, vehicular access, special events, and other private uses considered “encroachments” on city-owned property. This also includes permits for the use of Court Square Park and its gazebo for private functions.
While street vending is prohibited in most of Downtown, DMC encourages approved vendors to sell food and merchandise on Main Street Mall.
The cost of a Main Street Mall Encroachment Permit is $25 per week with an approved food or $50 per week for an approved merchandise vendor.
Court Square Park & Civic Center Plaza Usage Permit
Court Square provides the perfect place to sit in peace amid the hustle of Downtown Memphis. The quiet oasis is surrounded by office buildings and busy streets and offers a shady area with fountain, art, gazebo, seating, and green space to relax and enjoy the restored antique trolleys going by on Main Street. The square is located between Main and Second Streets at Court Avenue.
Of all the 4 original municipal parks laid out by the city planners in 1819, Court Square is the only one left in its original form. Ironically the land was set aside to build a court house, but no courthouse was ever built on Court Square. It was however, the site of Memphis’ first schoolhouse. The land for Court Square was donated by John McLemore, one of the founders of Memphis.
Serving, selling, or consuming alcoholic beverages in the park is prohibited without a beer permit approved by the Shelby County Beer Board and/or a permit from the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission.
Events with attendance of 25 or more require an event permit from the City of Memphis Permit Office in addition to the event permit from the Downtown Memphis Commission.
Civic Center Plaza is located on Main Street between Adams and Poplar, surrounded by the city’s main government buildings. The plaza is also the venue for many community events and gatherings.
Memphis is the birthplace of the blues and Rock ‘n’ Roll and Downtown Memphis is the perfect place to celebrate that history! We allow busking on the Main Street Mall, Court Square, or Civic Center Plaza, with a no-charge permit for street performances. For sound performers – only acoustic performances are allowed. Fill out the online form. If not able to process online, please call 901-575-0563 or visit the DMC offices at 114 N Main Street.
Planning an Event (or Virtual Event) in Downtown
We believe in building a Downtown for everyone and want to empower creative people with inspiring ideas, even if the idea is for a first-time event! We are always interested in partnering with our community to make the entire Downtown Memphis area more vibrant, interesting, and fun.