Got nothing to do during the first week of May? Consider the Beale Street Music Festival. It actually is NOT on Beale Street but on the grounds of Tom Lee Park. It isn’t strictly a “blues festival” either, probably because it didn’t make enough money so there are pop and rock acts.
Have a look at the line up here. I am planning to see the following for certain: Keb’mo, Pintetop Perkins, Michael Franti, Aretha Franklin. In general how it works is that there is a smaller “Blues tent” and I have rarely seen a bad performer there. There is a stage with music that is retro/classic/R&B ( think middle aged people)and a stage for young people that generally showcases local rap/rock/whatever groups.
It always rains or it is unseasonably hot and you get a sun burn, and by the third day it has a nasty smell. Beale street is always a zoo beyond zoos during the festival. Traffic which is not bad in Memphis as a rule is horrible, parking will be expensive.
However, if you were interested in coming, I have a floor you could crash on. In the past I have seen great performances from: Chaka Khan, Jerry Lee Lewis, Preston Shannon, B-52s, Parliament, John Legend, Black Crowes, a bunch of bluesmen/women I was not familiar with.
I will also treat for ribs and/or BBQ and drag you to a local tourist spot.
You don’t even really have to hang out with me the whole time because I am on the geeky side and I don’t actually live in Memphis but a quick drive in.
Please don’t rec pony party, hang out and chit chat and then go read one of the excellent offerings on our recent and rec’d list.