Memphis is all about festivals and the 2016 festival season is beginning. Of course, the May in Memphis International Festival is the most popular and well known festival but there are many others that go on throughout the year.
Kicking off the New Year is nothing less than a celebration of Elvis Presley's birthday. The festivities go on from January 7 through the 10th. Special events include auctioning off Elvis artifacts and memorabilia, a dance party, and a cake cutting that serves everyone that attends.
Next on the January agenda is The International Blues Challenge. It's a world-class music showcase of mostly younger and up and coming talent. It takes place from January 26 to the 30th.
Memphis takes a short break from major festivals during February but comes back in March with the Memphis Comedy Festival. The festival takes part over several nights during the month. Shows include local and nation talent appearing on both stage and screen.
April brings the Memphis International Guitar Festival featuring amazing acoustic performances. Besides top performances, this festival has master classes and competitions. With the April spring weather also comes the Overton Square Crawfish Festival. Along with the crawfish and side dishes comes live music and arts and crafts vendors.
April really starts bringing on the Memphis festivals. Another is the BrewFest. This festival features a wide variety of American craft beers and exotic international beers. Of course, it all takes place to a backdrop of music. Also happening April is the Southern Hot Wing Festival that benefits several charities.
Of course, the Memphis in May International Festival is the grandest of all the festivals. It begins at the end of April and runs through the end of May. The two biggest events are the Beale Street Music Festival and the World Championship Barbeque Cooking Contest.
The 2016 BBQ contest is expected to feature more than 250 teams that come from across the globe in the attempt to win more than $110,000 in prizes as well claim rights to a Memphis BBQ title. The contest requires more than 500 judges that are fortunate to taste ribs, shoulders, whole hogs, and a wide variety of sauces. This is the BBQ contest you don't want to miss.
The Beale Street Music Festival is a three-day party featuring a diverse array of contemporary and legendary artists in the genres of soul, rock, and blues. Past headliners include Aretha Franklin, Beck, Van Morrison, Cee-Lo Green, and The Black Keys. The annual lineup is always impressive.
Memphis in May International Festival collected 16 Pinnacle Awards at the International Festival & Events Association’s 60th Annual Convention & Expo in Tucson, Arizona, on September 21, 2015.
The professional competition collects entries from the world’s leading festivals and events in 68 award categories. Memphis in May winning categories include “Best Educational Program,” “Best Event Website,” “Best Overall Sponsorship Program,” and “Best Volunteer Program,” among many others.
Please leave a comment if this article was helpful or if you have a question.