Memphis in May Announces New Fall Dates


Sunset over Tom Lee Park - CHRIS MCCOY
  • Chris McCoy
  • Sunset over Tom Lee Park
Here's a news release from Memphis in May announcing new fall dates for the festival:

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the globe, and following the guidelines and recommendations of national and local health officials, Memphis in May International Festival announced last week that all festival events would be rescheduled.

Realizing the importance of these events to not only our patrons, but also the area economy in these unprecedented times, the Memphis in May board of directors made the decision after a two and a half hour online meeting yesterday to move forward with the festival events despite a projected $2 million loss for fiscal year 2020.

“For forty-four years, Memphis in May has been a revenue generator for the City of Memphis, particularly through the business it brings to our tourism industry’s key segments of lodging and hospitality,” said Memphis in May President and CEO James L. Holt. “With the difficult times those businesses are facing now, we felt it was more important than ever that we do our part to help revitalize the local economy. The Memphis in May events are a source of civic pride and unity for Memphis and the Mid-South, and this fall will certainly be the time for our community to come together.”

With that in mind, for one year only, Memphis in May will become Memphis in October!

The Rescheduled Festival Event Dates:

World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest: September 30 – October 3, 2020

Beale Street Music Festival: October 16-18, 2020

Great American River Run: TBA (The Great American River Run will also be rescheduled for the fall with the date to be announced in the coming weeks.)

Should these new dates conflict with our patrons’ schedules, Memphis in May is among the few festivals nationally who will offer patrons the option to defer passes to the 2021 events, donate the cost of their passes to the non-profit Festival for a charitable tax deduction, or request a refund. Information for each of these options has been emailed to patrons and is posted to the event pages of

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