Large crowds fill Tom Lee Park for day one of the Beale Street Music Festival

Local News

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – Acts like Dirty Heads, Good Charlotte, and the Dave Matthews Band are performing Friday night. Since last June, Memphis in May officials and volunteers have been prepping for this weekend. 

Things went off without a hitch for the first night of the festival. Local 24 News has learned the festival only has nearly a dozen paid employees, so a lot of the work is thanks to the dozens of volunteers. 

Gates opened up a few minutes after 5:00 p.m. Friday. Memphis in May officials say the three-day passes are sold out for the festival and the Sunday pass.  However, Saturday passes are still available. 

“It’s a really fun festival umm there’s tons of music, good music, live music and you can go to Beale afterwards…there’s Blues music you can listen to really just like good soul music, says Memphian Ashlea Kelly. 

More than 40% of the acts this year for the 3-day festival are Memphians including Rapper Block Boy JB, who was arrested Thursday, but bonded out in time for his performance. It’s not just the music people come to the festival for, the food vendors play a big role. 

“We build a really high functioning, high volume, commercial kitchen outside so we get here and it takes about a full day to set up,” said Bryan Madness, owner of Ozark Mountain Biscuit Company. 

Memphis Police have at least 100 officers on duty to provide security, and they’ll also check to make sure vendors are not selling alcohol to minors. 

“I hope everybody come down here and enjoy themselves, don’t do nothing crazy,” said Richard Willingham, a first-time Beale Street Music Festival goer. 

Also, be mindful Riverside Drive is closed and there are detours in downtown Memphis. You can check the closures through the Beale Street Music App, and you can also check which items you are prohibited to bring to the park. 

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