Preparations are well underway to transform Tom Lee Park into a festival grounds ahead of next week’s 41st annual Memphis in May International Festival (MIM) and motorists should expect at least some partial closings of Riverside Drive.
The street is fully open now but as trucks, volunteers, and workers begin to arrive to stage next week's Beale Street Music Festival, Riverside will be either partially or completely closed from Union to Georgia. Robert Griffin, the director of marketing for MIM, said the street is partially open for about 20 days of the festival cycle and is completely closed for no more than 15 days.
“As a partner with the city and citizens of Memphis, we make every effort to reduce the impact our festival has on Riverside Drive traffic,” said MIM president and CEO James L. Holt. “With the safety of our workers and festival-goers in mind, the road closures we require are both as brief and as thorough as needed to ensure public safety.”
A news release from MIM noted that the street’s closure is not related to the Riverside closure on the north end of the street. Riverplay, a pop-up park, will close Riverside from Union to Bass Pro Drive through August.
MIM will also close Beale Street from Wagner Place to Front Street and will also close Wagner Place form Beale to Linden on festival days.
More streets will be closed for the one-day, inaugural running of the Great American River Run on May 28. Those street closures will be announced in May.