(Memphis) It’s the official unveiling of the Memphis in May commemorative poster for the Beale Street Music Festival and the wraps come off on the same day organizers announced the festival’s lineup for this year.
Jim Holt is the president of Memphis in May.
It’s quite a project and a puzzle to put together, but we feel we have one of the most diverse lineup of artists of any festival in the country,” Holt said.
Some of the artists include ZZ Top, the Black Keys, Hall & Oates, the Roots, Alice in Chains, the Wallflowers, Sheryl Crow, Public Enemy, Dwight Yoakam, rapper Big Boi of Outkast, Smashing Pumpkins, Mavis Staples, Al Kapone, Cracker, Patti Smith and Jerry lee Lewis.
Pat Mitchell Worley is with the Memphis Music Foundation.
“I think they’ve done an excellent job of catering to a diverse group of Memphians and the world,” Mitchell Worley said.
She admits festivals such as Bonnaroo in Manchester, Tennessee might boast names this year such as Sir Paul McCartney, Mumford and Sons, Wilco, and R. Kelly in their lineups, but she says several factors go into getting the big names, including cost and availability.
“Some things just aren’t available. They may not work in the market. There may be a question as to whether they have something else booked that’s on the other side of the country. There are a lot of variables that are in there. It’s easy to criticize, but it’s a juggling act,” Mitchell Worley said.
Memphis in May has a long tradition of presenting Memphis and blues-based entertainment such as Gov’t Mule, Coco Montoya, Charles Bradley and the Royal Southern Brotherhood.
Eric Hughes is a musician who says the Beale Street Music Festival should include other artists, but it must also live up to its name.
“Those are all huge acts, big acts and they’d be a great draw, but keeping our identity and still having a huge festival is pretty cool, too,” Hughes said.
Single day tickets and three-day passes are on sale at all Ticketmaster outlets.
The Beale Street Music Festival scheduled for Tom Lee Park runs between May 3-5.