Winners Experiences Teams Schedule

Event Details

BBQ Alley Egg

Here’s more information about the world’s premier barbecue cooking contest! Remember that it IS a contest and not a food festival, meaning the barbecue being cooked here is only for the judges, the teams and their friends, NOT the general public. 

But don’t despair! Check out these options below for ways you can enjoy championship-quality barbecue at the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest!

WCBCC21 Safety Items

Expect the following changes in 2021:

  • Social distancing: All patrons and participants will be required to maintain a 6’ distance while in the park and within team spaces.
  • Mask requirements: All patrons and participants entering the park and in team spaces will be required to wear masks, except when eating or drinking.
  • Capacity limitations will be in place in Tom Lee Park, in team spaces and the Judges Tent limiting daily attendance. It may be necessary to schedule team guest visitors on a timed basis, by using color coded wristbands with designated time periods.
  • Sanitizing stations will be set up around the park to encourage cleanliness for our patrons and participants
  • Team space capacity will be posted and monitored by COVID compliance officers to ensure participant and patron social distancing and capacity limits are adhered to by teams.

#WCBCC21 Map

Take a look at the #WCBCC21 map below to know where you favorite team will be smoking their 'que in Tom Lee Park!


VIPit Pass Presented by YETI

DSC03426 Smaller

The VIPit Pass presented by YETI is the head honcho of World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest experiences and tickets can be purchased here. From cooking demonstrations to tours of competitor's team spaces, you'll be shown the things that everyone wishes they could see. While the final #WCBCC20 VIPit schedule isn't quite approved yet, we've listed a few things from the 2019 VIP experience below to help you get a taste. Check back in April for a 2020 schedule.

  • Several rounds of meeting & interacting with competition teams
  • Cooking demonstrations (& tastings too, of course)
  • Judging class with a certified Memphis in May judge
  • Depart for Blind Judging in the Judges Tent

Kingsford Tour of Champions

Photo May 15 9 27 57 AM

The general public has access to taste and judge barbecue from the teams competing by purchasing a ticket for the Kingsford Tour of Champions. This unique barbecue experience gives you the chance to judge and sample barbecue and listen to teams explain their craft. Each tour will last approximately an hour and a half and includes visits to three different barbecue teams. 

Click for Tickets

Thursday, May 13
Tour 1: 3:30 pm - sold out
Tour 2: 4:30 pm - sold out

Friday, May 14
Tour 3: 3:30 pm - sold out
Tour 4: 4:30 pm - sold out

Anything else?
Capacity for each session is 45 people. Please note that the Kingsford Tour of Champions is an add-on and a general admission ticket must still be purchased to gain access into the park.

#WCBCC Additional Details

AGrill Open

The World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest will take place rain or shine. If severe weather should arise, refer to the WCBCC Facebook page for immediate information.


  • Tickets are good for the dates specified only.
  • Tickets will not be sold at the gate.
  • No will call in 2021
  • No refunds, rain checks or exchanges. 
  • Admission to Tom Lee Park is first-come, first-served.


Finding your way to Memphis and your way around the festival grounds is easy. World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest takes place in downtown Memphis, Tennessee in Tom Lee Park a 33-acre park on the banks of the Mississippi River located on Riverside Drive between Beale Street and Georgia Avenue.

For lodging accommodations, directions to Memphis, parking and other transportation options, please visit the travel page.


For information about what to eat, where to stay and what to visit while staying in the Home of the Blues, Soul & Rock n' Roll, check out


Inquires for patrons with Disabilities? See Accessibility Information.


  • If Tom Lee Park reaches capacity, for the sake of crowd safety and enjoyment, Memphis in May International Festival, Inc. reserves the right to refuse admission unless a patron has a ticket purchased in advance.
  • All packages and bags are subject to inspection.
  • Photo I.D.'s are required for all alcohol purchases.
  • Memphis in May International Festival, Inc. and its employees, officers and sponsors assume no liability for injury sustained by ticket holders at this event.
  • Memphis in May International Festival, Inc. reserves the right to refuse admission or to eject any person violating rules; local, state and federal laws; or whose conduct is deemed illegal, disorderly, dangerous or offensive.


All food must be purchased with cash. ATMs are available at Tom Lee Park for your convenience. A photo I.D. is required for all alcohol purchases.

Site Map