MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - It's already May! Downtown Memphis is about to get craaaazy!
Consider this your "Unofficial Guide to Beale Street Music Festival." Here, we will help you prepare for the busy weekend and help you maximize your time at the festival.
Beale Street Music Festival kicks off on Friday, May 5 with dozens of bands and musicians gracing four main stages set up at Tom Lee Park.
To get started, you might want to take a look at the lineup for each day. Determine which band you'd like to see first, then plan to access the entrance closest to that stage. That will save you time and energy and help you avoid dealing with unnecessary crowds. You must have your tickets already purchased and printed if you plan to use any entrance other than the north entrance near Beale Street.
There are four entrances to the festival: the north entrance, north bluff entrance, south bluff entrance, and south entrance.
Take a look at where the entrances are in relation to the stage you need to get to and plan accordingly.
- Orion Blues Tent: north entrance or north bluff entrance
- River Stage: north bluff entrance
- Bud Light Stage: south bluff entrance
- FedEx stage: south entrance
Obviously parking near the festival is going to be tricky. If you insist on driving, plan to pay to park or arrive early in order to get a parking space. Carpooling is also a great idea.
If you have a disability, you will want to park in the parking lot on Riverside Drive at Union Avenue. You must show a visible state-issued placard or have state-issued license plate issued to those with disabilities.
Perhaps the best idea, though, is to call a rideshare service like Uber or Lyft. When it comes to calling for a ride home, make sure you're already outside of the festival before you call your ride.
Pro tip: Walk away from the festival to a less crowded area before requesting your ride. With so many people requesting Uber/Lyft rides, walking a few blocks will go a long way in helping your driver identify you and vice versa. Plus, people are less likely to steal your ride. ;-)
A rideshare is not only a good idea because it's convenient, but it could prevent you from getting pulled over -- especially if you've been drinking.
Memphis Police Department announced it will set up sobriety checkpoints on Friday, May 5 on Union Avenue at East Street and Summer Avenue at Mendenhall Road.
Did you know that Beale Street Music Festival rents out lockers to those of you who don't want to carry everything around with you?
Lockers can be rented out each day, or you can rent a locker for the entire festival. If you rent your locker for the entire festival, you can leave your items overnight and rest easy knowing they're safe and waiting for you when you arrive the next day. A locker rental for the entire festival will cost you $40, otherwise rentals will run you $15 per day.
Pro tip: These lockers have charging capabilities, giving you the ability to charge your phone as many times as you need throughout the duration of your rental.
- One factory-sealed 20 ounce bottle of water
- Photo I.D.
- Selfie sticks
- Food and drinks (other than one 20 oz. bottle of water)
- Recording equipment
- Backpacks larger than 12x12 inches
- Pets unless they are a certified service animal (bring your certificate and your animal's certified vest)
Whether you're a Beale Street Music Festival fanatic or a first timer, there are some simple things you can do to make your experience the best it can be. The WMC Action News 5 staff has several years of BSMF visits under its belt. Below, are some pro tips that will ensure you have a successful #BSMF17!
Have a tip we may have forgotten? Leave a comment on the Facebook post and we may add yours to the list!
1. Bring your own TP! Those portable toilets have a limited supply!
2. Flip-flops? No. Wear your rain boots even if it's not raining. The park tends to get muddy no matter what the weather conditions. If you don't have rain boots, wear shoes you can toss after the festival.
3. Find your fanny pack (yes, they are "in style" at Beale Street Music Fest, because I said so). If you're not brave enough to sport a fanny pack, use a cross-body bag so you can wave your hands in the air like you just don't...well, you get the drift.
4. "Ladies and gentlemen of the class of '97, wear sunscreen. If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it."
5. If you don't understand the reference in #4, you're probably not old enough to drink at #BSMF17. So, don't forget to bring some water! HYDRATE!
6. If you are old enough to enjoy some frosty beverages, plan your ride home! Lyft, Uber, trolleys, and taxis will be out in full force!
7. Speaking of drinking and "general merriment," pace yourself! The festival lasts three days! Don't party so hard on day one that you can't enjoy days two and three!
8. Parking is a nightmare. Carpool! Uber! Walk! Bike! Hoverboard!
9. Cell service can be hit or miss. Pick a place inside the festival that can be your group's "home base" or meeting area in case you lose each other or want to take in different shows. Oh, and bring a portable battery charger...just in case!
10. Girls, don't forget your bracelet! You know, the one that keeps the hair out of your face and off of your neck! Bring a ponytail holder--or two...you'll be glad you did when you start to glisten.
11. Ear plugs can go a long way, especially if you find yourself near a speaker. We know, we know...you're there to *hear* the music, but trust us, when your ears start ringing--you'll wish you had listened! Get it? Listened. Ha.
12. Bring a small pair of binoculars in case you don't get a place near the stage. You will want to know what the girls from Bahari are wearing so you can copy their outfits later.
13. Hit up an ATM before you head to Beale Street Music Festival to avoid astronomical fees from the ATM itself and from your bank!