Your survival guide to Memphis in May’s return to the river

Hey there, festie friends! Are you ready to return to the river? After two canceled pandemic years and a weird year at Liberty Park, Memphis in May International Festival is heading back Downtown to its longtime home at Tom Lee Park.

The park has a fresh new look (complete with a giant otter!), and MIM attendees will be among the first to officially break in the new space. And we don’t mean literally “break in,” though any natural wear and tear should hopefully be covered by the festival’s damage deposit.

Memphis in May: Moon Taxi, Eric Benét added to Beale Street Music Festival lineup

Moon Taxi and Eric Benét are joining this year’s Beale Street Music Festival lineup, Memphis in May announced Wednesday.

Indie rockers Moon Taxi are making their second Beale Street Music Festival appearance, while Grammy-nominated neo-soul sensation Benét is making his festival debut. Both are set to perform May 7.

Also announced Wednesday, Azmyl & the Truly Asia will perform May 5-6 on the Blues Stage on Beale. The band will represent the blues stylings of Malaysia, Memphis in May’s honored country this year.

Music Fest CEO says ‘surprise additions’ to lineup coming soon

Earth, Wind, & Fire, The Roots, The Lumineers and GloRilla are among acts scheduled to perform at the 2023 Beale Street Music Festival.

Memphis in May International Festival released the lineup for the 45th edition of the festival Monday, Feb. 27.

Other scheduled performers include Greta Van Fleet; Robert Plant and Alison Krauss; Hardy; Jazmine Sullivan; AJR; 311; Gary Clark Jr.; Ziggy Marley; Young the Giant; Haelstorm; Live; PJ Morton; The Struts; Gov’t Mule; Dru Hill; Mike.; Andy Grammer; Yola; Toadies; Lucinda Williams; Living Colour; Finesse2Tymes; Big Boogie; Cameo; The Bar-Kays; White Reaper; Shovels & Rope; Phony Ppl; Low Cut Connie; Marcy Playground; Beach Weather; Jason D. Williams; Myron Elkins; Dirty Streets; Mac Saturn; Tyke T; Sleep Theory; Millie Manny; and The Sensational Barnes Brothers.

Part of Barbecue Fest moves to Beale Street

A longstanding portion of the Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest is moving to Beale Street.

The “Patio Porkers on Beale” competition that had been part of the Memphis in May event will be a 30-team, one-day, ribs-only “smoke-off” Saturday, May 20, with free admission.

The Beale Street competition is on the last day of the May 17-20 barbecue contest.

Williams, Lawler among Memphis sports hall of fame inductees

Former NFL running back DeAngelo Williams and professional wrestler Jerry “The King” Lawler are among 27 athletes and coaches chosen for enshrinement in the Memphis sports hall of fame.

An induction ceremony Thursday will mark the first for the hall since 2019, after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, said Kevin Kane, president and CEO of Memphis Tourism.

Entrepreneurship flourishes at Shop Black City Tour

More than 100 Black small business owners, selling everything from jewelry, CBD products, apparel and more, gathered at 91 Promenade in Downtown Memphis Saturday, Oct. 15, for the Shop Black City Tour event.

Shop Black City Tour is a touring small-business festival providing a space for Black business owners to showcase their products or services to other Black-owned businesses in the area.


MEMPHIS, TN—In partnership with Old Dominick Distillery and the Downtown Memphis Commission, Choose901 is gearing up to give local bartenders a chance to showcase their skills during the Choose901 Downtown Cocktail Contest.

From February 24th, which is recognized as World Bartender Day, until the end of March —cocktail connoisseurs working in Harbortown, South Main, North Main, Crosstown, and the Edge District neighborhoods are invited to demonstrate their creativity using Old Dominick spirits.

Be it a refreshing take on an Old Fashioned, a mule, a martini, a French 75, or the like—participants are encouraged to submit one recipe that represents their craft by no later than February 4th. Each submission will be vetted by representatives from Choose901 and Old Dominick..

During the month-long celebration, Memphians are encouraged to hit up each spot to enjoy a sip, and vote for their favorite cocktails. Winners will be crowned in categories such as: Best Overall, Best Name, Best Use of Garnish, Best Presentation, Best Gin Drink, Best Whiskey Drink, and Best Vodka Drink.

The culmination will come together on Thursday, March 31st during a special industry night hosted at Old Dominick Distillery where the winners will be announced, and discounted cocktails will be served to participants and fellow restaurant industry representatives starting at 12PM.

The Grand Prize for Best Overall Cocktail includes an award for the host restaurant and a prize for the participating bartender. Other prizes to be announced.

Beale Street Artcrawl Festival Returns Saturday

Vicky Love, self-proclaimed science geek and art collector, looked for an art crawl after moving back to Memphis from Nashville. Something not as big and glamorous as River Arts Fest, but a cozy, independent artist pop-up fair working symbiotically with local businesses. “I told myself, ‘They don’t have an art crawl in Memphis? I’m going to claim one,’” Love says.

A graduate of Tennessee State University in Nashville, Love holds a master’s degree in geospatial information systems, and she’s an artist and photographer. Her left and right brain work double duty. She is also the founder of Dear Music Nonprofit, supporting artists and creators with the creation and public performance of their work.

“Creating opportunities for others is my calling,” she says.

In 2018 and 2019, the Beale Street Artcrawl Festival was amazing, according to Love. Beale was packed. The crawl went online last year due to Covid. This year, the event is a hybrid, with an online presence and the live event on Saturday.

“It’s hard to step out and believe in yourself and your abilities,” says Love. “Artists believe in their work, but they still need to pay the bills. It was hard before the pandemic. It’s even harder now.”

Her pet project is getting the word out that Dear Music Nonprofit not only supports traditional artists but also encourages young artists like Thomias Calderon, who is on the autism spectrum.

“I want those young artists who test within the autism spectrum to continue to express themselves and discover more abilities.”

Beale Street Artcrawl Festival, Beale Street, Downtown Memphis, Saturday, Aug. 21, 1-7 p.m., free.