MEMPHIS, Tenn. — It’s been almost four years since crowds were able to gather on the river for the Memphis in May International Festival.

This weekend, it’s coming back with a bang as the Beale Street Music Festival returns to a revitalized Tom Lee Park, festival leaders said Tuesday.

“It’s a beautiful park,” said Jim Holt, president of Memphis in May. “It’s a little smaller than it has been in the past. … but it’s gonna be that wonderful, majestic vista of the Mississippi River, and fans are really looking forward to it.”

Tom Lee Park is set up for Beale Street Music Festival on May 3, 2023.

Holt said there would be “perfect festival weather” with temperatures of 75-80 and mostly sunshine in the forecast.

Thanks to a large presence of police officers, Holt said Tom Lee Park might be the safest place in Tennessee during the festival.

“This weekend, downtown and Tom Lee Park in Memphis is the place to be,” said the legendary James Alexander with The Bar-Kays, who will play right before Earth, Wind & Fire.

The COVID pandemic and construction in Tom Lee Park put the festival on hold in its traditional location. Last year, it temporarily moved to Liberty Park in Midtown.

While the main stages for Music Fest are back on the river, the festival this year is adding a free blues tent in Handy Park on Beale Street.

Beale Street Music Festival runs from May 5-7. On May 17-20, 148 barbecue teams were set to compete in the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest. Later in the month, MIM will host dignitaries from this year’s honored country of Malaysia.

For information and tickets go to