What You Need To Know Before Driving Downtown

MEMPHIS, TENN. (localmemphis.com) - Music lovers from across the world are in Downtown Memphis this weekend. Garth Brooks and Tricia Yearwood are currently on stage at FedEx Forum.
 
And more than 110 bands are participating in the International Blues Challenge on Beale Street. But all the fun also comes with road congestion and chaos.
 
Crowds are converging in waves in Downtown Memphis this weekend for two big events.
 
"It's Memphis, it's Beale Street . . . we can handle it," said downtown parking attendant Tywasika Peebles. 
 
On Saturday nearly 40,000 people will be going to FedEx Forum to hear country music legends Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood perform two concerts. Others are headed to Beale Street for the International Blues Challenge, now in full swing.
 
The Memphis Police Department says officers are coming in from other precincts to manage the crowds and traffic.
 
"These streets were built you know a hundred years ago. So they're small streets. Historical buildings. There's no way to enlarge them. So traffic is always going to be an issue. But we have a beautifully trained traffic unit that comes out to assist and they know how to move the crowd around." said Col. Gloria Bullock, Memphis Police.
 
MPD suggests taking a taxi, Uber, Lyft, or carpool. Finding parking close by could be tough. though one parking lot attendant at the corner of fourth and and union says he is getting ready
 
"Making sure the parking is safe made ensure people got somewhere to park and make sure everyone enjoyed themselves on the lot," said Peebles. 
 
Ken Taylor, Executive Director of the Beale Street Merchants Association, says the crowd will be electric.
 
"It's also definitely navigable so people can definitely come through. It it is not shoulder to shoulder," he said. 
 
People coming for the second Garth Brooks concert will not be allowed to park until the first concert clears out. But MPD says the traffic will be heavier but should flow normally.
 
Martin Luther King Avenue will will be blocked westbound from Danny Thomas and eastbound from Second.
BBKING will be blocked northbound from MLK.
Fourth street will be blocked at Beale and MLK.

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