Are you ready for the 2023 Memphis in May International Festival? Beale Street Music Fest is back (see the early line-up and ticket details below), and stay tuned for updates on the 2023 World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, Great American River Run, International Salute and more.
Memphis in May traditionally kicks off with Beale Street Music Festival, but festival organizers are hitting pause on the popular music festival in 2024. Check back here for updates on the festival in the near future. In the meantime, look back on the 2023 Beale Street Music Fest. The annual three-day festival is known to bring in world-famous acts from all genres. Last year's lineup featured The Lumineers, Greta Van Fleet, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, The Roots, GloRilla, Earth, Wind & Fire, Gary Clark Jr. and more.
Memphis is known for its barbecue, so it makes sense that each year we host a massive competition to decide who is the best meat-smoker and sauce-slatherer in the land. Teams from around the world come to compete, while others come out to gawk at the elaborate team tents, savor the good smells and revel in the party atmosphere. Plan your experience with our insider tips. Get your tickets now. General admission and VIPit Passes are available.
May is traditionally a month’s worth of food and celebration in Memphis. So what better way to burn off those extra calories than a 5k, 10k or half marathon? The Great American River Run is just that, taking participants along the Mississippi and through downtown Memphis, a beautiful course that mixes downtown architecture with river views.
Being the friendly and diverse city that it is, Memphis devotes the Memphis in May celebration to a different country and culture each year. Columbia, Canada, Poland and Ghana are just a few of the countries that have been honored in past years with themed events and educational programs taking place all throughout town. In 2023, Memphis in May is honoring the culture and heritage of Malaysia.
Free Memphis in May Events
This year, Memphis in May is offering a few can't-miss free events so everyone can join in the fun. At the 2023 Beale Street Music Festival, you can catch Los Lobos, Keb Mo and North Mississippi Allstars for free on the Blues Stage at W.C. Handy Performing Arts Park on Beale Street. Then, during the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, see 30 teams compete for the title of best backyard barbecuers at this year's Patio Porkers competition. This free cook off is set for Saturday, May 20, 2023 at W.C. Handy Performing Arts Park on Beale.