Tag Archives: Memphis in May

World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest

 

Memphis in May BBQ Championship -Memphis
photo by Tennessee Vacation, Flickr

If you’re a BBQ fan, this is hog heaven!  Held every year as part of the Memphis in May Festival, the competition attracts the best barbecue teams in the world in the “Super Bowl of Swine.” Meat-lovers sweat for hours over a hot grill to claim bragging rights to the best ribs, the best sauce, the best whole hog, and the best booth. It’s a party atmosphere with a serious contest going on!

Put together a team of grill masters, get registered, and go head to head with the best of them. If you just want to visit the festival and do some sampling, there are food booths, too, with vendors selling their best char-broiled creations.

BBQ Fest 2011 027
photo by Chris Lam, Flickr

There’s music nightly and one of the entertainment highlights is the Ms. Piggie Idol Contest in which grown-ups put on tutus and snouts and sing songs about pork, grilling, and their undying love of BBQ. Go hog wild!

ddfest12
photo by Too Sauced to Pork

The site Too Sauced to Pork offers helpful tips for visitors who aren’t on a BBQ team:
http://www.toosaucedtopork.com/tag/memphis-in-may-2013/

World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest
http://www.memphisinmay.org/worldchampionshipbbqcontest

Memphis Music

Beale Street

photo by mrbrent62, Flickr
photo by mrbrent62, Flickr

Birthplace of the blues. Touristy and bustling with people but there’s still good music there.   Walk around the small strip of bars and restaurants for the neon and party atmosphere alone. When you hear a band you like, pop in for a drink or two. The clubs feature blues, of course, but you may also hear soul, R & B, rock, country, and rockabilly played on Beale.
http://www.memphistravel.com/music-nightlife

The Memphis Flyer

MemphisFlyer
Many music clubs are located all around town not just on Beale Street so the best way to find out what’s going on is to pick up the free local entertainment weekly, The Memphis Flyer. http://www.memphisflyer.com/

Blues Music Awards

photo by JoTeri, Flickr
photo by JoTeri, Flickr

Sponsored by The Blues Foundation, the annual Blues Music Awards celebrate the best in blues music. It’s like the Academy Awards for great blues musicians! Leading up to the big night, many of the top artists are in town, playing in clubs and attending the ceremony.
The Blues Foundation
421 South Main, Memphis TN 38103
Phone: (901) 527-2583
http://blues.org/

International Blues Challenge

photo by BlairEvanBall, Flickr
photo by BlairEvanBall, Flickr

Hundreds of blues musicians come from all over the country and the world to take part in this annual five-day event, usually held in late January. Performers for the challenge are chosen by local blues societies to come to compete in three categories: Band, Solo/Duet, and Best Self-Produced CD–all for cash, prizes, and industry recognition.
The Blues Foundation
421 South Main, Memphis TN 38103
Phone: (901) 527-2583
http://blues.org/

Beale Street Music Festival

photo by ConcertTour, Flickr
photo by ConcertTour, Flickr

Part of the Memphis in May International Festival, this annual three-day event is held at Riverfront Park at the foot of Beale Street. There’s an emphasis on local musicians but the three outdoor stages showcase many national touring artists, too.
Memphis in May International Festival
56 South Front St, Memphis, TN 38103
Phone (901) 525-4611
http://www.memphisinmay.org/music-about

Memphis Music and Heritage Festival

photo by memphissamiam1, Flickr
photo by memphissamiam1, Flickr

Usually held over the Labor Day weekend, this colorful festival takes place on Main Street in downtown Memphis.  For two days, a wide variety of cultures take to the streets with people enjoying local music of every kind–blues, gospel, rock, folk, country–along with cooking demonstrations and dance shows throughout the day.
http://www.memphismusicandheritagefestival.com/

Center for Southern Folklore

photo by joespake, Flickr
photo by joespake, Flickr

In addition to showcasing artists’ work, this gallery also hosts music events in the evenings.  There’s only about two dozen tables so it’s an intimate way to see up-and-coming and established artists in a casual setting. If it’s a freebie, be sure to throw a tip in the musician’s bucket or buy their CD.
The Center for Southern Folklore
123 South Main Street, Memphis, TN 38103
Phone: (901) 525-3655
http://www.southernfolklore.com/

The Full Gospel Tabernacle

photo by ConcertTour
photo by ConcertTour

Born in Arkansas in 1946, singer Al Green was ordained a pastor of the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Memphis in the seventies.  This is where he still preaches and sings gospel when he’s in town.  Here’s a video of Rev. Green performing the classic “A Change is Gonna Come.”

The Full Gospel Tabernacle
787 Hale Road, Memphis, TN
Phone: 901-396 9192
http://www.algreenmusic.com/fullgospeltabernacle.html

Elvis Week

photo by John Dreyer, Flickr
photo by John Dreyer, Flickr

Elvis tribute artists converge at Graceland for the annual Elvis Week celebration in August. Festivities also include special tours, hip-shakin’ karaoke, movie screenings, and dance parties. Long live The King!

photo by marques.murilo, Flickr
photo by marques.murilo, Flickr

Graceland
3734 Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, TN 38116
Phone: +1 901-332-3322
http://www.elvis.com/

WDIA Radio

photo by ilovememphis, Flickr
photo by ilovememphis, Flickr

While you’re in town, check out local radio. On the air since 1947, WDIA became the first radio station in America programming music entirely for African-Americans. B.B. King worked here as a disc jockey, and so did Rufus Thomas–two of the many black radio personalities the station hired over the years.

photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos
photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos

WDIA AM 1070
12 Union Ave, Memphis, TN 38103
Phone: (901) 525-3318
http://www.mywdia.com/main.html