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Just how did folks like the Beale Street Music Festival's temporary move to Liberty Park?

Organizers reiterated Monday the festival - and all Memphis in May events - will return in 2023 to Tom Lee Park in downtown Memphis.

MEMPHIS, Tennessee — The Beale Street Music Festival's move to Liberty Park in midtown Memphis this year presented challenges and opportunities while its permanent home of Tom Lee Park downtown is being remodeled.

Still, performers and attendees gave mainly high marks for how the festival went at its new but temporary location near the Liberty Bowl.

"Actually I think midtown was pretty cool. I loved the fans were set up. I think it gave it this cool festival vibe," Memphis rapper Al Kapone said. "I love downtown because you are by the river, but it was something about that Tiger Lane area that was cool, really cool."

Organizers said a new location meant adjustments on the fly.

"We have learning experiences as we go along," Memphis in May VP of Marketing & Programming Randy Blevins said.

That included rerouting some shuttle drop-offs and emphasizing fans use the Southern Avenue entrance to avoid longer lines on Central Avenue.

Saturday, attendees noticed the difference.

"Friday night the traffic was definitely a lot longer for the other entrance. We went to the Southern entrance Saturday and it was not as bad," Carson Stimpson said.

While organizers were pleased with how the Beale Street Music festival went in Midtown, they also reiterated Monday Memphis in May will return next year to downtown Memphis.

"We will be back in Tom Lee Park next year. Mayor Strickland has promised that," Blevins added.

For Kapone, that's music to his ears.

"Downtown is the staple. It's the place we've always done it at, so its always going to be love bringing it back Downtown," Kapone added.

Memphis in May organizers are crunching the numbers of attendees for the Beale Street Music Festival but estimated last week around 70,000 were expected during the three-day event.

Most of the site's interior will be completely revamped ahead of next week's World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest.

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