Sarah Bishop spearheads perhaps one of the most captivating international festivals in Memphis.
Last year's inaugural event, then called DeSoto County International Festival, took place at DeSoto Civic Center, with an attendance of 50-70. "I looked at the data from the involvement of ticketing on Eventbrite and a lot of general comments from people who attended last year, and the big consensus was that a lot of people were actually coming in from Memphis," says Bishop. "I thought, why don't I just bring the festival to Memphis, since that's where most of them are coming from? To me, it's a no-brainer."
- Mark Brown
- The Mid-South International Festival brings diverse cultures to Railgarten.
Bishop, who works as the events and catering director for Railgarten and its sister companies like Carolina Watershed and Rec Room, thought Railgarten would make the perfect setting for this year's event with its expansive indoor and outdoor areas, nice ambiance, and never-ending activities.
So, naturally, the festival was moved to Railgarten, and the name of the festival was changed to Mid-South International Festival. As the name suggests, the two-day festival celebrates diversity and culture with a spread of international vendors, performances, and activities. Several countries will be represented, including Argentina, Ireland, West Africa, and more.
Throughout those two days, Railgarten's two stages will house 28 performances, including musical performances, ethnic dances, yoga demonstrations, drum circles led by Memphis Drum Shop, fire performances, and more.
Food, offered by Railgarten, will include international options like Korean barbecue and skewers, as well as tofu items. Corona beer, one of the festival's sponsors, will be available.
The other sponsor, Mempho Music Festival, will be present offering discounted presale tickets for the festival.
Fourteen vendors, each representing different countries around the world, will be selling clothing, crafts, jewelry, and more.
If all of that weren't enough, Railgarten will also be introducing its new life-sized cornhole game played with bean bag chairs.