Beale Street Music Festival Canceled for 2021


Beale Street Music Festival at Tom Lee Park - MIM/FACEBOOK
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  • Beale Street Music Festival at Tom Lee Park

The 2021 Beale Street Music Festival is canceled "due to the continuing threat of COVID-19."

Memphis in May (MIM) officials announced the move Friday afternoon. The World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest (WCBCC) will proceed as planned May 12th-15th with strict COVID-19 protocols in place. The Great American River Run is still set for Memorial Day weekend (May 29th), but will also have COVID-19 protocols in place. The Salute to Ghana is up in the air.

Officials said they canceled the music festival "due to the nature of the event, gathering tens of thousands of fans in front of stages and the event falling earlier in the calendar year. Large-scale music festivals and concerts remain deeply affected by the pandemic across the globe, Memphis is no exception, and it may not be safely possible until much later in the year. Ticket holders can defer their tickets to 2022 and lock-in prices from 2020 or request a full refund by visiting" the MIM website.

Barbecue "will be somewhat different and possibly smaller with capacity restrictions that may be in place at that time. Team applications are now open."

The River Run will include a rolling start to space runners with staggered start times. Runner registration is now open.

A vote on the moves came in a special-called MIM meeting earlier this week.

"We are disappointed with the postponement of the Beale Street Music Festival to 2022, but we feel we cannot safely replicate the experience that our fans know and love with the potential COVID-19 restrictions,” said MIM president and CEO James Holt. "However, because of the nature of our other two Tom Lee Park events, we are confident that we can safely present the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest and the Great American River Run with adjustments for COVID.”

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