Memphis, Tennessee is the undisputed legendary home of rock & roll and the birthplace of the blues, so it’s not hard to understand why the Beale Street Music Festival (from May 3 to 5) is chosen as the lead event for the Memphis in May International Festival.
The Festival is a showcase of Memphis’ visual and performing arts and a celebration of local and international color, customs, cuisines and culture, this year honoring the Scandinavian country of Sweden.
The Beale Street Music Festival annually attracts over 100,000 music fans from throughout the United States and around the world. Five stages of rock & roll, blues, R&B/soul, alternative and new rock, the Beale Street Music Festival hosts the legends and the leaders in the industry.
While Sweden is honored throughout the month at the many Festival events, the International Week from May 6 to 12 is a Salute to Sweden with special events and breathtaking exhibits and exciting programs bringing to life Sweden’s history and heritage.
In the third week in May, the aroma of wood burning flames and barbecue fills the Memphis air. The World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest (from May 16 to 18) is a serious celebration of Memphis’ claim as the Barbecue Capital of the Free World. Over 250 teams compete for over $110,000 in a three day cook-off that crowns the King (or Queen) of Barbecue. The event itself is a spectacle. Teams packed in Tom Lee Park along the Mississippi River, their booths adorned with elaborate decoration, trophies attesting to their bragging rights, and as one can imagine, clever and creative team names.
The finale event of the Memphis in May International Festival is appropriately its oldest event. The Sunset Symphony featuring the Memphis Symphony Orchestra on May 25 offers the perfect close to a famous month in Memphis. The popular event draws thousands who come to picnic, party, play and partake of great music. Primarily a pops program, the orchestra also features musical scores from Sweden.
Visit www.memphisinmay.org for details of this month-long festival of music and culture.
For more information about top events in Tennessee take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in Tennessee.