Thank you for a fantastic 2016! We will begin announcing our 2017 Festival dates in August

#BSMF17 Logo Unveiled

We're excited to present the 2017 Beale Street Music Festival logo! With a fresh set of colors and slight design tweaks, the logo is the centerpiece for festival branding in 2017.

Announced earlier this month, the Beale Street Music Festival is set to take place from May 5-7, 2017. Tickets for the three-day festival will go on sale November 18.

Posted by Natalia Yarger at Thursday, August 25, 2016 | 0 comments
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Memphis in May Announces Colombia As 2017 Honored Country

Memphis in May International Festival held their 2016 Annual Meeting on August 9 where festival officials reviewed the results of their fortieth anniversary and announced Colombia as the 2017 honored country.

Celebrating Colombia will become the year-long focus of Memphis in May International Festival as the organization begins their forty-first year. Colombia is the fifth country from South America to be honored in the festival’s history. Known for its national parks and lush geography, Colombia has become a growing hot-spot for tourists and is one of only 17 megadiverse countries in the world due to its vast biodiversity. The South American country is a natural choice for the 2017 salute, as Tennessee was the eighth highest exporting state to Colombia last year.

“We are excited to honor such an ethnically and biologically diverse country,” stated James L. Holt, president and CEO of Memphis in May International Festival. “Colombia has a rich and vibrant culture and is emerging as one of South America’s leading economic markets.”

With more than 46 million citizens, Colombia has the second largest population in South America and the twenty-eighth largest in the world. Colombia is home to the third largest Spanish-speaking population in the world, after Mexico and Spain. Colombia is rich in natural resources with major exports including petroleum and coal. Colombia also produces more emeralds than any country on the planet and has a vibrant floral export business. Seventy percent of all cut flowers in the US are exported from Colombia. With the third largest GDP in South America, almost 50 million consumers, and a robust free market economy, Colombia is economically strong.

Each year, an advance trip to preview the honored country is organized. In 2017, Memphis in May International Festival Board Chair Bobbi Gillis and James L. Holt, will lead the trip to Colombia on March 4-11, 2017. For those interested in this trip visit or call the Memphis in May International Festival office at 901-525-4611 for more information.

In addition to this year’s honored country, the 2017 festival dates were announced as follows:
Beale Street Music Festival: May 5-7, 2017
International Week: May 8–14, 2017
World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest: May 17-20, 2017
901Fest: May 27, 2017
Great American River Run: May 28, 2017

These dates include an extended day for the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, while 901Fest and Great American River Run are scheduled to take place on two separate days.

The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development presented Memphis in May officials with a custom art-piece produced locally by the Metal Museum. The metal artwork recognizes the organization’s significant contributions to tourism efforts.

“For 40 years, the Memphis in May organization has produced authentic experiences for a global audience that include the best in live music, world renowned barbecue and international culture. Today, we honor Memphis in May on this fortieth Anniversary milestone, for its outstanding contributions to Tennessee tourism,” stated Brian Wagner, assistant commissioner of marketing, Tennessee Department of Tourist Development.

Mayor Jim Strickland, alongside festival officials, was in attendance to receive the award and to speak to the festival’s fortieth anniversary and important contributions to the city.

Posted by Natalia Yarger at Wednesday, August 10, 2016 | 0 comments
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Memphis in May Announces 2017 Directors, Officers

Memphis in May International Festival announces local business owner and real estate broker Bobbi Gillis will serve as the Board Chair for the 2017 festival. The 2016 Board Chair, Doug Browne, officially passed the gavel on August 9, 2016 at the organization’s Annual Meeting. An active civic supporter and business owner, Gillis has served on multiple boards and committees, including two terms on the Memphis in May board.

“Bobbi has been active with the Memphis in May organization for over a decade and brings outstanding business and governmental affairs expertise to the position,” states James L. Holt, president and CEO of Memphis in May International Festival. “We look forward to her leadership in 2017.”

Originally from Rockford, Illinois, Gillis has spent the past 47 years calling Memphis home. She serves on the board of the Neighborhood Preservation Inc., the Greater Memphis Chamber Jobs PAC, the Center City Revenue Finance Commission and is a member of the Memphis Rotary Club and the Downtown Memphis Commission Blight Committee. She has been an active supporter and participant at the Memphis in May International Festival for many years and has served on the Board of Directors since 2007.

“I have spent my entire real estate career selling Memphis and all that is truly special about our city. Memphis in May is a real Memphis treasure, both economically and socially” Gillis said of her new role. “I want to focus on enhancing our communication and community engagement. My goal is to fully promote the mission and promise of Memphis in May International Festival.”

Other Board Officers for 2017 include, Chair-Elect, Kristen Wright of AutoZone; Vice Chair, Barry Yoakum of Archimania; Treasurer, Earl Blankenship of Mercury Investment Management; Secretary, James Baker of Owen Brennan’s Restaurant and Past Chairman, Doug Browne of the Peabody Hotel Group.

Joining the board this year are Stacy McCall – ServiceMaster by Stratos, Lenoir Owens – Volunteer Representative, Shannon Brown – FedEx, John Carroll – City Leadership and Jose Rodriquez – Medtronic

Additional board members are Susan Arney, Wei Chen, Ronald Coleman, Erica Coopwood, Charles Ewing, Beth Flanagan, Kim Hackney, Kevin Kane, Al Lyons, Ken Moody, Leigh Shockey, and Ernest Strickland with Ex-officio members Philip Spinosa, Jr., Prince Chambliss, and John Farris.

Posted by Natalia Yarger at Wednesday, August 10, 2016 | 0 comments
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2016 Great American River Run Winners Announced


2016 Great American River Run
Shatters First Year Expectations

MEMPHIS, TN. May 29, 2016  – The inaugural Great American River Run half marathon and 5K, held in downtown Memphis on Saturday, May 28, saw more than 2300 registrants from 34 states and 4 foreign countries. With almost equal numbers of 5K and half marathon participants, numbers for the race exceeded first year expectations. Both courses showcased historic downtown Memphis, highlighting the Mississippi River and were well received by runners of the Memphis in May International Festival sanctioned event.

"We are very encouraged by the turnout for our inaugural event," said Jim Holt, president and CEO of Memphis in May International Festival. "The local, national and international reception for Great American River Run was very positive and we are looking forward to even bigger crowds in 2017." half marathon winner, Pius Nyantika from Louisville, Ky, finished in 1 hour 7 mins 23.1 seconds, with the fastest female finisher, Samantha Campanaro from Germantown, Tenn, clocking in at 1 hour 27 minutes, 43.3 seconds. 

On the 5K course, 17 year-old Christopher Walls from Arlington, Tenn, was the first finisher at 18 minutes 8.7 seconds; with the fastest female, Jamie Turner of Memphis, Tenn, coming in at 20 minutes, 43.9 seconds. 

2016 Great American River Run, sponsored by AutoZone - Top Five Finishers

Men's Half - Top Five Finishers:

Pius Nyantika 1:07:23.1
Japhet Kipkoech 1:09:44.6
Joseph Chebet 1:13:16.5
Matt Weickert 1:20:11.1
Eric Skaug 1:26:58.4

Women's Half - Top Five Finishers:
Samantha Campanaro 1:27:43.3
Cali Boyette 1:39:48.8
Janessa Marx 1:40:08.9
Leslie Sykes 1:41:07.7
Clare Anderson 1:41:54.5

Men's 5K - Top Five Finishers:
Christopher Walls 18:08.7
Dakotah Thompson 18:14.5
Romadel Delasalas 19:28.3
Christian Brackeen 19:39.1
Andrew Thrasher 19:57.3

Women's 5K - Top Five Finishers:
Jamie Turner 20:43.9
Emily Churchwell 22:01.8
Sharon Murtaugh 22:58.1
Aliyah Williamson 23:26.9
Bailey Grimes 23:27.5

About Memphis in May
Memphis in May International Festival is a not for profit, community-based organization, whose programs contribute more than $70 million in economic impact to the community, foster civic pride, promote awareness of Memphis heritage, and build international relationships and understanding through education.

Memphis in May International is the official Festival of the City of Memphis, and the recipient of 184 prestigious Pinnacle Awards from the International Festival and Events Association. Memphis in May International Festival was recently named the Top Festival in the Southern United States in a nationwide readers’ poll by USA Today 10 Best.


Posted by Penelope Huston at Tuesday, May 31, 2016
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901Fest - A Celebration of all Things Memphis

Join us for 901Fest - a celebration of all things Memphis!
Memphis music. Memphis food. Memphis merchandise.
Saturday, May 28 at Tom Lee Park in downtown Memphis.

Imagine all your Memphis favorites together with the beautiful Mississippi River as the backdrop and you've got Memphis in May's newest event, 901Fest! We've got all the bases covered, from music to food, beer & wine, to merchandise. Learn more about all the family fun below and make it a Memorial Day weekend to remember!

Purchase tickets for 901Fest here.

901Fest Rundown
Gates open - 3:00 pm  |  Music begins - 3:30 pm  |  Air Show - 4:15 pm  |  Fireworks finale - 9:30 pm

Four stages stacked with the 901's favorite music and talents. View the full music lineup below or click here.

Orion 901 Rocks Stage

North Mississippi Allstars – 8:15
Dead Soldiers – 6:30
Star & Micey – 4:45
The Incredible Hook – 3:30

NexAir 901 Beats Stage
Al Kapone – 8:20
Frayser Boy – 7:20
Lyl Wyte – 6:20
Tyke T – 4:45
Artistik Approach – 3:30 

AutoZone 901 Arts Stage
Opera Memphis – 8:20
Iris Orchestra – 7:25
School of Rock – 6:00
New Ballet Ensemble – 4:45
Stax Music Academy – 3:30 

FanBank 901 Fan Choice Stage
Zigadoo Moneyclips – 7:50
CCDE – 6:20
Nuttin’ Fancy Band – 4:50

BBQ, cupcakes, popsicles, beer, baked goods and more! View the full list of food vendors here.

Art, jewelry, illustrations, crafts and more! See the full list of merchandise vendors here.

Jump in the ball and hang out tight, free sessions of knockerball are coming at you! Stop by the designated knockerball area from 4:00-8:00 pm and bounce around a bit.

Commemorative Air Show
A fan favorite during every festival, the most exciting air show in Memphis is back! Keep a look out for the special 767 flyover and enjoy the great family entertainment starting at 4:15. 

Celebrate the close of another great festival and take in a Memphis-themed fireworks display along the Mississippi River.

901Fest FAQ's
Q: What can I bring in with me?
A: Blankets and small umbrellas are allowed at 901Fest. Leave your coolers, outside food and drink, lawn chairs, thrown objects (football, frisbee, etc.) and weapons (including pocket knives) at home.

Q: Where should I park?
A: Parking garages and lots around Tom Lee Park can be located here.

Q: How much are tickets and where can I buy them at?
A: Tickets are $9 in advance (click here) or $10 at the gate on Riverside and Beale. Kids six and under will be admitted at no cost.

Q: Can I bring a bag or backpack?
A: Backpacks larger than 12 inches wide by 12 inches tall are not allowed at 901Fest. All purses and backpacks are subject to inspection.

Q: Where can I enter?
A: Entrance to the 901Fest is at Beale and Riverside only. Patrons with advance tickets may enter at the two gates on the Bluff walk. There is no patron entry at Riverside and Georgia for this event.   

Q: Can I bring my camera?
A: For the convenience of festival goers, cameras are not allowed with the exception of cell phone devices. Cameras are allowed for credentialed media with photography passes.

Posted by Natalia Yarger at Wednesday, May 25, 2016 | 0 comments
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