No Beale Street Music Festival next year; music event moved to 2022


MEMPHIS, Tenn. — For the second year in a row, the Beale Street Music Festival won’t be rocking the Memphis riverfront.

Organizers with the Memphis in May International Festival said Friday they are canceling the Memphis music event for 2021 and moving it to 2022 because of COVID. Other events like the barbecue cooking contest are still planned.

“Due to the continuing threat of COVID 19 within the presence of large crowds, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2021 Beale Street Music Festival. We gave it our best shot but found we could not replicate the festival at the level our fans and followers … are accustomed to experiencing. Our top priority has always been and continues to be the health and safety of our fans, performers, volunteers, staff and the general public,” MIM said.

In 2019, Music Fest alone generated an economic impact of nearly $76 million in Memphis. A chunk of that money went to businesses on Beale Street that banked on the extra foot traffic.

Jay Wells is the manager at Silky O’Sullivan’s. He says they’re disappointed to miss out on that boost in business for yet another year.

“Let me say it pays an awful lot of bills,” Wells said.

The World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest will proceed as planned May 12-15, 2021, although it might be different and possibly smaller.

“Thank goodness the barbeque fest is going to be up and running,” Wells said, “We can fall back on that somewhat.”

The Great American River Run is set for Memorial Day Weekend, May 29, 2021 with COVID19 protocols in place.

The Memphis in May International Festival was cancelled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in a $1.8 million financial loss for the organization this year.

Ticket holders can defer their tickets to 2022 and lock-in prices from 2020 or request a full refund by visiting

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