Last October, Seth Agranov, founder of the Best Memphis Burger Festival, announced
he was stepping away from the event, citing time conflicts and declining attendance. He said he hoped the festival would be taken over.
Details were finalized last week, and the festival will be back on October 27th at Tiger Lane. The event will be run by Southwood Entertainment Group.
Brian Ellsworth of Southwood says that Agranov and his team all had full-time jobs, which made running such an event difficult. Putting on events is Ellsworth's full-time job.
First things first, he changed the name slightly to BurgerFest
, as that's what everybody calls it anyway.
He's also changing the structure of the event, so that there's less pressure on the competing teams to feed the crowd. In fact, this year, there will be no competition. (It will return in future events.)
Ellsworth is currently recruiting 2 well-known burger places to provide samples. This year, festival-goers can get a punch card for sampling 3 burgers and 5 beers. He hopes to up the burger count eventually to 6.
Ellsworth purchased the rights to the festival for around $10,000. He said there's money to be made with the festival, but past efforts weren't so successful.
He says he wants the event to better serve the public. There will be a burger bar, where full-size burgers can be purchased, live music, and an expanded children's area.
Ellsworth has a vision of an expanded festival — one that is multiple days with carnival rides. He sees a festival that satisfies all comers — foodies who are there to flex their burger-making muscles and those who come out to have fun and hang out.