Beale Street Music Festival | Beale Street Music Festival

Everything Fun Happening in Memphis This Spring

Updated On 03/08/2018 at 04:21PM EST
Jalapeno Throwdown | 901 Popper Throwdown
Monday - Sunday
Mar 5-11
Various locations
Memphis Black Restaurant Week allows Memphians to support minority-owned eateries. Enjoy $15 two course lunches and $25 three-course dinners at 11 different restaurants all over town. Make your reservations soon as this event is sure to be a sellout. Click the link for a full listing. Top picks: Tam’s Underground Café, Slice of Soul Pizza, and HM Dessert Lounge. The week culminates with “Soulful Food Truck Sunday” at the Clayborn Temple where there will be eight food trucks, five food vendors, and 20 retail pop-ups (for that, it's a $10 entry).
Cost: $15 for two courses, $25 for three
Mar 17
The Big Buffalo 50 is Memphis’s first ever ultra distance race. Not an ultra runner? No worries, you can run a 50K instead, or run with a team. All proceeds go to the Kids Kicking Cancer organization. All race distances will run a 6-mile loop on the paved and dirt trails of Shelby Farms Park. Race headquarters will be located at the new amphitheater of Shelby Farms Park making watching, and participant access, a breeze.

Cost: $50-$130 (depending if you buy individual or team tix)
Mar 17
Celtic Crossing, Murphy's & Railgarten
This St. Patty’s Day there’s gonna be a whole lotta Betsy! Big Betsy, which specializes in rocked up traditional Irish drinking songs, will be appearing three times throughout the day.  Start at Celtic Crossing at 1:30, then follow the guys to Murphy’s for their 5pm set, and settle in at the Railgarten for the 8pm show. Band member, Greg Easterly, is coming all the way from Knoxville to make it a day to remember. Be sure to catch all three (free!) shows if you truly love St Patrick's Day!
Cost: Free
Mar 17
Don’t miss the opening reception for the latest exhibition of photographs from the Ernest Withers collection, including works from Dr. Withers’ vast archive of more than 1 million negatives that have never been seen by the public. Withers was one of the first nine African Americans appointed to the Memphis Police Department and was given a beat right on Beale Street. Withers’ collection includes pictures of early performances of Elvis Presley, B.B. King, Ike and Tina Turner, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Isaac Hayes, Howlin' Wolf, and the list goes on and on. On view March 17-May 13.

Cost: Free
Mar 23
Visual, musical, and performance artist Lawrence Matthews, also known as Don Lifted, will transform the gallery of Rust Hall visually and sonically. His performance will feature sculptural and video installations, vibrant lighting, and projected film, as well as performances from his recently released album Alero, previous projects and a new coming release titled Contour. Audiences will be immersed in music performed live and surrounded by swirling pop culture imagery that follows the narrative of each song.

Cost: Free
Mar 24
Clayborn Temple to Civil Rights Museum
Memphians are answering the call to action from the student survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting on February 14. Organized by local youth, March for Our Lives will start in the Clayborn Temple parking lot and continue to the National Civil Rights Museum where participants will convene in the park/plaza right outside of the museum. Show your support. #NeverAgain.
Cost: Free
Mar 25
The second annual 901 Popper Throwdown is returning to the Memphis Medical District and Edge neighborhood to see who can cook the best jalapeño popper in town. It’s free to watch and teams will provide samples. Additionally, food and beer will be available for purchase from High Cotton and Edge Alley. VIP tickets ($35) include unlimited beer and Jack Pirtle’s chicken tenders. For the truly brave/crazy, there’s a jalapeno eating contest. Music by the Outer Ring.
Cost: Free - $35 (for VIP)
Mar 25
Crab soup with hot water jalapeno cornbread, blackened shrimp salad with hibiscus vinaigrette, and buttermilk hot chicken mollete are just a few of the delicacies that chefs Brian Michael Patrick of Rizzo's Diner and Manuel Rivera of Maciel's Tacos have concocted for this special collaborative dinner spearheaded by City Tasting Tours. There will be five courses with cocktail pairings, which is a steal at $75. You do not want to miss this one. If you do, though, the Culinary Artisan Series will continue throughout the year with other fun chef pairings.

Cost: $75
Memphis Made Brewing | Memphis Made Brewing
Apr 4
On April 4, 2018, all eyes will turn to us. MLK50: Where Do We Go From Here? is the theme for the year-long commemoration of Dr. King’s assassination. At the Civil Rights Museum there will be daylong tributes in the courtyard starting at 10am. At 3:30pm the community will gather for the official ceremony with the laying of the wreath, ecumenical liturgy, musical and spoken word tributes, and remarks from civil rights icons. At 6:01pm, bells will ring at places of worship, college campuses and institutions across the nation 39 times to honor the number of years Dr. King dwelled on this earth and to pay homage to his legacy.
Cost: Free
Wednesday - Friday
Apr 4-Jan 13
Crosstown Concourse
This signature event will be the culmination of the yearlong MLK50 Commemoration. An Evening of Storytelling will bring living icons of the early civil rights movement and emerging social justice leaders together for an intimate look at the American Civil Rights Movement from its past foundations of the 1950s and '60s to the mobilizations and grassroots organizing happening now. Anecdotes, moderated discourse, music, dance, and art will explore how past activism laid the groundwork for current action and how new civil rights movement makers are working to advance the social justice legacy of Dr. King.
Cost: $100
Apr 7
Tour de Brewer is back, and better than ever with a Bike Fest to boot (think games on wheels, bike-themed movies, and more). The tour begins and ends at Memphis Made. The ride is a fundraiser for Revolution Bicycle Co-op’s Fourth Grade Bicycle Safety Program. Explore Bike Share will have bicycles available for those in need. The ride is weather dependent (rain date is Sunday, April 8). Helmets, locks, and ID required.
Cost: $12
Apr 19
Guitar legend and Surf Rock King, Dick Dale returns to town for a special show at the Hi-Tone. At 80, the man is still rocking faces off. In case you missed it, Dale pioneered the surf music style, drawing on Middle Eastern music scales and experimenting with reverberation, which resulted in Fender creating a custom-made amplifier for him. Local guitar legend, Steve Selvidge will open.
Cost: $35
Apr 25
Local Yacht Rock sensations, Relentless Breeze, will be rocking the early show at DKDC. This means you can sing along to all of your favorite yacht-rock tunes, remember the good ol’ days, and still be in bed by 10pm. Think you don’t like yacht rock? Relentless Breeze will make you think again.
Cost: Free
Beale Street Music Festival | Beale Street Music Festival
Friday - Sunday
May 4-6
Tom Lee Park
The Beale Street Music Festival is a three-day, four-stage event that locals love, and sometimes hate, depending on how much it rains, but this year’s line-up is worth getting soaked for. With 60+ top musical acts from today and beyond, there’s something for everyone. Especially buzz worthy this year are David Byrne, The Flaming Lips, Ludacris, Logic, Dram, and Kaleo.
Cost: $55 per day; $125 for three-day pass
May 12
McGown Studio
The Pink Wigpalooza is an annual music fest fundraiser for The Pink Wig Project. It started when a breast cancer patient discovered wearing a pink wig after losing her hair during chemo freed her from being defined by her cancer. The group now takes donations and sells pink wigs in order to provide pink wigs at no charge to all breast (and any other) cancer survivors. Part of the proceeds raised by The Pink Wig also go to genetic testing for those who cannot afford it otherwise.
Cost: $15 adults, $10 students, and $5 kids under 10
Wednesday - Saturday
May 16-19
Tom Lee Park
The World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest is a four-day event with the Mississippi River as the backdrop. More than 230 teams come from over 25 states and several foreign countries to participate in America's most prestigious barbecue competition. Each team sets up a “tent”/two-story temporary party house for the week, and it’s pretty much a pork-fueled free for all. Start making friends with someone on a team now.
Cost: GA is $10 per day
Sunday - Sunday
May 19-20
Mike Rose Soccer Complex
The ninth annual "River-City For Itty-Bitties" (RIBS) 7-on-7 adult tournament is an adults-only 7-on-7 tournament benefiting the March of Dimes and LeBonheur Children's Hospital Neuroscience Institute. Registration is $275 per team (minimum of 11 players, maximum of 17), with each team guaranteed at least three games. All participants will receive tournament shirts, with additional prizes for the winners in each division. Deadline to register is Saturday, May 6.
Cost: $275 per team
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