What started as a small blues festival has morphed into the most anticipated musical event in the Midsouth. Each year, the Memphis in May Beale Street Music Festival draws some of the biggest names in pop, rock, country and blues to four stages and thirty three acres on the banks on the Mississippi River. The 2007 line-up has been announced, and as usual, there is something for every musical taste.
The festival opens on Friday, May 4, with southern rockers The Allman Brothers, gospel favorites the North Mississippi Allstars, local Memphis artists and Oscar winners Three 6 Mafia, Jerry Lee Lewis, Gov’t Mule, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, The Derek Trucks Band, Popa Chubby, Gym Class Heroes, Richard Johnston, Social Distortion and Chevelle.
Saturday continues the electic scheule with Godsmack, Steely Dan, legendary bluesman Bobby “Blue” Bland, George Thorogood, The Ohio Players, Kenny Wayne Shephard, alterna-country act Old Crow Medicine Show, Eddie Floyd, Taj Mahal, Kelly Hunt, Alvin Youngblood Hart, One Less Reason, The Bar-Kays,Hawthorne Heights and the Daddy Mack Blues Band.
The festival concludes on Sunday with singer-songwriter Edwin McCain, Papa Roac, Egypt Central, jazz artist Tab Benoit, Guster, American Idol favorite Daughtry, Barenaked Ladies, English songbird Corrine Bailey Rae, Counting Crows, Hinder, Ann Peebles and The Lee Boys.
Tickets for the festival are on sale via Ticketmaster. Single day tickets are $25.00 in advance. A pass for all three days, is $59.50 until April 30. After April 30, the price jumps to $75.00. Cameras are not allowed in Tom Lee Park during the festival and they are confiscated. The festival sells out every year, and only those with advance purchased tickets are guarantees admittance, so it pays to plan ahead and have you tickets well ahead of the first date of the festival. Food and alcoholic beverages are free available, but must be purchased with cash.
Memphis is May is an annual international festival honoring countries world wide. The Honored Country for 2007 is Spain, and festival events from the Beale Street Music Festival, Sunset Symphony and the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest will take on a Spanish flair. The Salute to Spain will feature artists, dancers and performer from Spain, along with educational exhibits and chef demonstrations. The festival generates more than $30 million a year for the Memphis area. The festival is coordinated by the MIM International Festival, Inc, a 501-C(3) community-based organization.