By: Liz Froment

Memphis, Tennessee might be known for Graceland, Elvis’s famous home, but people from all over the U.S. and the world head to Memphis every spring for the Memphis in May festival.

Memphis in May is not just your average festival; it’s four fests combined into one mega event that takes over the city for a full month.

For many, the highlights are the Beale Street Music Festival and the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest. Also, there are two more fests included. A classical music celebration called Sunset Symphony and International Week, featuring events specifically dedicated to a sponsoring country. For 2013, International Week will feature all things Sweden!

Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee

Via Bigstock © Sean Pavone Photo

Live Entertainment

Memphis in May kicks off with the three-day Beale Street music fest. This event features amazing live bands from all over the world. In the past musical acts have included: Florence and the Machine, Al Green, The Civil Wars, Alison Krauss & Union Station and Three 6 Mafia, literally something for everyone!


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Local Grub

But for many, the main attraction might just be the food. Memphis is known as one of the prime barbecue spots in all of America. Therefore, a trip here is never complete until you find yourself sampling some ribs and brisket!


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Scenic Views

What really brings the festival together has to be the setting. Memphis is located right on the banks of the mighty Mississippi River, therefore, providing a stunning backdrop for the festival and the city itself.

Beyond the fest, what brings so many visitors to Memphis each year has to be its incredible musical history.

Many call this city ‘the soul of Rock n’ Roll’ as so many bands first got their start here during the 1950s and 1960s. You’ll be able to visit quite a few of the old record companies, which really makes for the perfect tie in with Memphis in May.

Lastly, enjoy the best of Memphis, a little Southern charm, a lot of great music and food, and I’m pretty sure that you will be back for more.

Photo Credit: from

Beale street in Memphis at night