Miss Tennessee promoters shine spotlight on Memphis; event a ‘godsend’ after tough 2020

This year’s Miss Tennessee Scholarship Competition is set to take place July 1-3 at the Cannon Center, in what will be the event’s first stop in Memphis since its founding in 1938.

Before Dean Dennis came to Memphis to manage the Renasant Convention Center, he managed the convention center in Atlantic City, the New Jersey resort town that was home to the Miss America contest for most of the pageant’s 100-year-history.

Winners of 2021 World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest announced

Myron Mixon’s Jack’s Old South Team was named grand champion, setting a new record for the World Championship Barbecue Contest by taking the top honor for the fifth time.

Serious competition barbecue teams returned to Tom Lee Park in downtown Memphis to determine the best barbecue on the planet after a year off due to COVID. Memphis in May officials announced the winners of the organization’s World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest on Saturday.

After Myron Mixon’s Jack’s Old South Team was named grand champion, Mixon gave a speech and attributed their success to teamwork and dedication. Jack’s Old South competed in the Whole Hog category.

First place in Ribs went to Bluff City Smokers ft. Central City BBQ, and Blues Hog took first
place in shoulder. Jack’s Old South also took top honors in the Whole Hog category.

One hundred and thirty six competition cooking teams vied for a record $142,350 in cash prizes, along with the priceless bragging rights from winning Memphis in May World Championship.

Complete winners list can be found by clicking here.

Beale Street and Memphis Tourism Launch 10-week Outdoor Music Series This Summer

Memphis Tourism, in partnership with the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, Downtown Memphis Commission and Beale Street, will launch a 10-week outdoor music series “Get Loud!” on Beale Street’s biggest stage in downtown Memphis.


The LIVE music series kicks off Saturday, June 5 with GRAMMY-winning singer/songwriter PJ Morton at the newly renovated W.C. Handy Park outdoor performance space. GET LOUD! will follow with 10 Thursday night concerts starting June 10th and culminating August 12th, 2021. Additional headliners include St. Paul & The Broken BonesDavid Ryan HarrisRebirth Brass BandPaul ThornSon Littleand Marc Broussard. The performances will be free and open to the public, pairing a touring headline act with a Memphis-based band as opening act.

The GET LOUD! initiative helps ensure the Memphis destination delivers on the brand promise of live and local music for visitors. It also allows Memphis artists, musicians and event production personnel to get back to work all over our city. Memphis Tourism is partnering with existing live music events to designate them as additional Get Loud! activations throughout the year.

“Our goal is to create a unique opportunity to showcase Memphis music by putting silenced artists and musicians back to work, and delivering the core motivator that drives visitors to the Memphis destination, and that is music,” said Kevin Kane, President & CEO of Memphis Tourism.


“This activation of the Beale Street entertainment district will not only create activity on the street, but in turn, increase overall hotel occupancy, fill our restaurants and venues and extend the length of stay.”

Made possible by Tennessee Department of Tourist Development funding, Memphis Tourism and the State worked together to develop strategic initiatives that will motivate travel and bring visitors back to a state known around the world for multiple genres of music.

“The Soundtrack of America is made in Tennessee, and we’re excited to see our stages and venues filled with fans again and artists back to doing what they love,” said Commissioner Mark Ezell, Tennessee Department of Tourist Development.

“Tourism is vital to our state’s economy. Bringing music back to historic Beale Street every day is an important step in restoring our industry, as well as celebrating the identity and culture that make Memphis so special. We’re grateful to Memphis Tourism and all who helped bring the ‘Get Loud!’ summer concert series to life.”

The lineup for the GET LOUD! concert series features a variety of headline acts, many with connections to Memphis, along with local bands serving as opening acts in the concert series set for Beale Street’s W.C. Handy Park. The thoughtful approach to booking acts has produced a soulful lineup sure to entertain both visitors and locals who visit Beale Street for the concert series.

Additional headline, and a full slate of opening acts, will be announced in the coming days. For latest updates and schedule visit https://www.memphistravel.com/getaway


Saturday, June 5th

PJ Morton
Marcella & Her Lovers

Thursday, July 1st

Victor Wooten, Joseph Wooten, Roy “Futureman’ Wooten, Regi Wooten, The Wooten Brothers,


Thursday, June 10th

St. Paul & The Broken Bones

The MD’s

Thursday, July 8th

Paul Thorn

Amy LaVere & Will Sexton

Thursday, June 17th

David Ryan Harris

Thursday, July 22nd

Son Little

Thursday, June 24th

Rebirth Brass Band
Chinese Connection Dub Embassy

Thursday, August 12th

Marc Broussard


memphis GetLoud summer music


The live music showcase on Beale Street will work in tandem with, and be promoted via Memphis Tourism’s planned “Every Story is a Song” digital media campaign, targeting visitors in key drive markets within a 600-mile radius of the Home of the Blues, Soul & Rock ‘n’ Roll.  The soundtrack to the advertising campaign is a summer anthem penned and performed by Memphis artists at world famous Royal Studios, with Grammy award winning producer Boo

Mitchell as producer on the track. The GET LOUD! campaign anthem will be released via digital platforms in early Summer 2021.

“Our community is rooted in music, and the pandemic has made it hard for many of Memphis’ most creative voices to be heard over the last year, whether performing in venues or even creating new music in the studio,” said Boo Mitchell, a Grammy award winning record producer, musician, songwriter, audio engineer, and owner of the legendary Royal Studios in Memphis.

“I have a tremendous amount of civic pride in Memphis. When I was approached about getting involved with this project to produce a song that was a musical invitation to visit our amazing city, I didn’t just say yes, I asked, when can we get started.”

Storytelling within the marketing campaign will be inclusive of all audiences through a variety of channels, emphasizing the current Memphis sound, while giving a nod to the legacy sound that made Memphis a world-famous music city.

“Through this music series and marketing campaign, Memphis Tourism is inviting all visitors, the uninitiated and the indoctrinated, to come be a part of our extended family, to share in our city’s stories and our songs,” said Regena Bearden, Chief Marketing Officer for Memphis Tourism.

“We’ve all relished anecdotes from visitors who describe feeling a deep connection to the Memphis sound. It touches your soul, creating a familial feeling, echoing who we are as a city and a destination. When you visit, you become a part of our extended musical family, and you may want to dance too.”

The multi-channel digital campaign will focus on the 600-mile radius key drive markets that, driven by data and research, have demonstrated a solid return by generating hotel room night sales, attraction tickets, restaurant and retail sales. In 2019 Memphis & Shelby County welcomed 12.4 million visitors, accounting for a $3.65 billion economic impact in spending from domestic visitors alone. This spend generated $179.5 million in state tax receipts and $101 million in local tax receipts. The leisure and hospitality industry in Shelby County includes over 2-thousand businesses and supports 49-thousand jobs.

Anywhere you go in Memphis, there’s a story waiting to be told, a song that connects to your heart and stays with your soul. Visitors can make a long weekend of it and celebrate that spirit with live music citywide every day this summer, kicking off with the GET LOUD free concert series in Handy Park. With live music, legendary attractions and Beale Street – plus food that’ll feed your soul – planning a visit to Memphis for an unforgettable music experience is effortless with resources available at MemphisTravel.com, log on today and feel the Memphis beat.


Businesses celebrate as sports fans return to Downtown Memphis

Two Memphis sports teams are expanding capacity during games.

On Monday afternoon, the Redbirds announced full capacity while the Grizzlies increased capacity to 40 percent.

Business owners on Beale Street are excited about this because more fans at games mean more people downtown to celebrate afterwards.

“We have waited months and months and months to hear this kind of news,” said Silky O Sullivan’s owner Joellyn Sullivan.

Sullivan is looking forward to seeing big crowds at Grizzlies and Redbird games.

“All of it means more customers, all of it means more revenue, more people we can employ, and more music we can play,” said Sullivan.

At Redbird games, masks will not be required outside or in suites. They are only required in indoor common areas like bathrooms, the bar and the hallway.

Meanwhile, the Grizzlies will increase capacity to 40 percent for its post-season tournament.

“I’m thinking the Redbirds and the Grizzlies bring in all the local business so maybe we could get them to come to the street,” said A. Schwab manager Teri Cox.

Cox said A. Schwab gets most of its revenue from international business but she expects to see more local and regional customers.

Overall, both owners are excited to see fewer restrictions and more customers downtown.

“When someone comes to visit they’ll bring their friends or family to show,” said Cox.

“Being able to have a little bit more stability in what we can do, being able to say yes a whole lot more than no, we are not used to being the fun police so we are very, very glad,” said Sullivan.

The Redbirds are allowing full capacity at its game on Tuesday night at 6:45 p.m.

On Wednesday, the Grizzlies will have its first game at 40 percent capacity.




MEMPHIS, Tenn., May 12, 2021 – The World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest kicks off today and will run through Saturday. Competition cooking teams are set up in Tom Lee Park and the familiar barbecue smoke will again fill downtown Memphis. 

No Box Office will be in operation, tickets must be purchased on-line. Tickets for Friday May 14 is sold out and other days are going fast. Buy your tickets now if you’re planning on attending the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest.

Dates: Wednesday May 12 – Saturday, May 15, 2021

Tickets: Tickets will not be sold at the gate. ADVANCE TICKETS ONLY

Limited capacity due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Location: Tom Lee Park, Downtown, Memphis, TN

General Admission Tickets to the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest are available memphisinmay.org  

Gates Open:

May 12 – 5 PM to 10 PM

May 13 – 3 PM to 11 PM

May 14 – 3 PM to 11 PM – sold out

May 15 – 12 PM to 10 PM

On-site Judging – 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM

World Champion Awards Ceremony: at 7 PM

Shelby County Health Department-approved modifications for WCBCC include, significantly reducing overall capacity, reducing the number of competition teams, drastically reducing General Admission tickets, expanding the team spaces, reducing operating hours, temperature screening, requiring face masks, social distancing and other safety protocols. 

About Memphis in May 
Memphis in May is a 501(c)3 nonprofit community-based organization whose mission is to promote and celebrate Memphis’ culture, foster economic growth, and enhance international awareness through education. Founded by racially diverse Memphians in 1977, racial equity and parity are embedded in the fiber and culture of Memphis in May, the official festival of the City of Memphis.

Recipient of 223 prestigious Pinnacle Awards from the International Festival and Events Association, it has been named to Travel+Leisure’s international list of Festivals Worth Traveling For, and in 2018, Memphis topped CNN Travel’s list of international destinations to visit in May because of Memphis in May events. Beale Street Music Festival was named by Oprah Magazine as one of “14 Festivals You Won’t Want to Miss in 2020.

For additional information, please visit www.memphisinmay.org.