headliners such as rocking-country-rap mega-star, Kid Rock,
southern roots rockers Alabama Shakes, indie pop trio Foster the People, hard rockers Avenged Sevenfold, electronic
dance music (EDM) artist Pretty Lights, Rap icon Snoop
Dogg aka Snoop Lion, progressive bluegrass jam band The
String Cheese Incident, soul diva Patti LaBelle and instrumental electronic rockers STS9.
“We are bringing the best of the best of touring music
talent this year,” says Holt. “We pride ourselves on presenting a diverse line-up designed to appeal to musical enthusiasts from all segments of the population across the country
and around the world. The Beale Street Music Festival offers
something for virtually every musical taste.”
World Championship Barbecue Contest
A blue haze tinged with the savory scent of slow-cooked
meat fills the skies around Tom Lee Park during the third
weekend of Memphis in May, as 250 teams from around
the world test their grill skills in what’s come to be known
as the ‘Super Bowl of Swine’ – the World Championship
Barbecue Cooking Contest.
The cooking teams are competing for much more than
the $100,000 in prize money; they want the bragging rights
of being known as a Memphis in May champion.
Pork is king at this contest, and categories include whole
hog, shoulder, and ribs. Elaborately decorated team tents are
erected from one end of the park to the other, and cooking
takes place only over wood (usually hickory) or charcoal.
While it looks a whole lot like a party, this is really a
serious cooking competition. Team tents are invite-only, but
with VIP pit passes, live music nightly, Cooking Caravan
tours, and the hilarious Miss Piggie Idol contest, there are
plenty of ways to partake in this pork-centric party.
The final event of the festival is the Sunset Symphony –
a family-friendly day filled with local musical acts, an early
evening air show over the river, and a performance by the
Memphis Symphony as the sun sinks over the Mississippi
River. Memphis in May comes to a close with a brilliant
display of fireworks set to a symphonic soundtrack.
Tickets to the Event
Single day tickets to Beale Street Music Festival are $45,
with a limited number of 3-day passes available at $75; there
is a service charge for online ticket purchases and tickets
may also be bought on-site. A limited number of 3-day VIP
tickets are also available and include access to covered viewing platforms, seating, complimentary water and snacks,
drink tickets and private restrooms. VIP tickets are $550, or
$650 with parking.
Single day tickets to the World Championship Barbecue
Cooking Contest are $9 at the gate (admission is free on
Thursday and Friday between 11 am – 1 pm). Local health
codes prohibit buying food from the teams, but vendors are
set up throughout the park. The 3-day VIP Pit Pass ($425,
or $525 with parking) gets you behind-the grill access at six
team tents, a guide, a private gathering space with snacks,
beverages, and more.