MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The gates are now open for the Beale Street Music Festival. This is the first time the event has happened since 2019 due to the pandemic.

The stage is set. Beale Street Music Festival has returned to the Bluff City.

“The energy is finally here,” said Randy Blevins with Memphis in May. “It’s finally here.” 

Over the next three days, an estimated 100,000 people will fill Tiger Lane for the highly anticipated music festival.

Deon English is one of the food vendors at this year’s event. She hoping for a profitable weekend but admits safety is a concern.

“I’m a little scared, but I’m excited too, because like I said we’re pushing our limits,” English said. “I don’t want to put ourselves in a negative situation. Things happen, unfortunately, I believe that they’re going to have security to keep us secured.”

Memphis Police say 150 officers will be on site. Organizers have also contracted additional personnel all in an effort to calm the fears some may have. 

“Security and safety of our fans and patrons is always top priority for us,” Blevins said. “Over the years, we always work closely with MPD with the Shelby County Sheriff Department, all of the proper authorities, because when you create an event as large as what we do, we wanna make sure the plan is in place.”

With the festival being held in a new venue due to construction in Tom Lee Park, Memphis Fire says it should reduce problems with overcrowding.

“We know about the various problems they’ve had other concerts with crowds and overflow, so we have several built-in safety areas within the venue in case something like that happens where you can immediately remove barriers,” said Hunter Smith with the Memphis Fire Department.

The fire department is also planning to stage equipment throughout the venue to be able quickly respond to emergencies. With the command post now up and running, everyone is just hoping for the best while preparing for the worst.

“We want everybody to come out here have a good time,” Smith said. “Obviously, support the local community. This is a big deal.”

The first concert starts at 5:45 p.m.