Mempho Music Fest 2017 / Adrian Berryhill

MEMPHO Music Festival

Samantha Crespo | June, 2018


Mempho is Memphis’ newest music festival, scheduled for October 6-7, 2018. In its inaugural year, 2017, it was nominated for “Best New Festival” at the FestX Awards. There’s more you should know about Mempho, but let’s start with the most important: the line-up.


Saturday, October 6, Beck, Phoenix and Janelle Monáe headline. Sunday the 7th, it’s Post Malone, Nas, Mac DeMarco and George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic. But we’re barely scratching the surface. On Mempho's website, you can filter by artist—30-some different acts—or by day, though set times are TBA. In short, it’s a mash-up of styles, legends and up-and-comers with a strong emphasis on Memphis music: 
  • Boo Mitchell, who grew up listening to his father produce Al Green and Ann Peebles at Memphis’ Royal Studios, will play his own set and present performances by other heavy-hitters with hometown ties: William Bell, Bobby Rush and Frayser Boy. 
  • Deepening the groove, the Bo-Keys and the Bar-Kays, who originated as Stax Records’ house band during the Memphis Soul explosion of the 1960s, will perform. 
  • Repping the Memphis blues, Eric Gales will scorch numbers with his guitar; John Nemeth and the Love Light Orchestra will do their big-band thing. 
  • While Memphis’ musical roots will get their stage time, you’ll also hear how locals riff on that legacy—like Big Ass Truck’s funk rock, Lucero’s country-alt-rock hybrid, Juicy J’s rhymes and the ethereal sounds of newcomer Talibah Safiya.
Mempho Lineup
2018 MEMPHO Music Fest Lineup


Seeing the line-up is enough to get music fans excited, but imagine how being at Mempho feels: 

You’re in Shelby Farms Park, a 4,500-acre green space full of lakes, lawns and trails to explore (plus a treetop adventure course, horseback rides, SUP rentals and more). This also means that you can valet your bike should you arrive on two wheels, and even camp overnight (see below). 

Within the festival area, you’re surrounded by three live music stages, food and art bazaars (plus creative installations by local artists), a craft beer tent, a ferris wheel and the Incendia Fire Dome, which manipulates flame to create a mesmerizing glow.

Mempho Music Fest 2017 / Adrian Berryhill
Mempho Music Fest 2017 Pronto Pup / Adrian Berryhill
Mempho Music Fest Southern Avenue 2017 / Adrian Berryhill
Mempho Music Fest 2017 Crowd / Adrian Berryhill
The MEMPHO experience ties together music, food and nature.


Here’s what we love about Mempho's ticket options: You can totally customize your Mempho experience. Nab a single-day general admission ticket. Go Super VIP for private performances and meet-and-greets with musicians, catered meals and complimentary massages. Add on camping (more on that in the next section). Just know that prices increase July 13 and again on September 28, and event organizers are expecting double the 2017 crowd, which numbered around 10,000. Payment plans are available.


Mempho is one of the rare occasions when Shelby Farms Park welcomes camping. Campers can set up as early as Friday evening, October 5, and check out as late as Monday morning, October 8. Consider your options here, whether you want to car-camp in a primitive spot, bring your RV, spring for glamping or reserve a luxury tour bus to accommodate yourself and up to nine friends. Just add your camping selection to your festival ticket purchase.