Memphis in May 2024: Everything You Need To Know

If you’ve ever wanted to experience the heart and soul of Memphis culture, there’s no better time than May. That’s when the city shines brightest, hosting a month-long celebration that attracts visitors from all over the globe. Memphis in May 2024 promises an array of events that capture the essence of this vibrant city. Whether you’re a music lover, a foodie, or just in search of a unique adventure, here’s your guide to make the most out of this festival.

View of the skyline of Memphis from the banks of the Mississippi River.

What’s Happening with Memphis in May 2024?

The Beale Street Music Festival

A cornerstone event of Memphis in May, the Beale Street Music Festival, is taking a hiatus in 2024. Known for its star-studded line-ups featuring artists like The Lumineers and Earth, Wind & Fire, its absence will be felt. But fear not, the festival’s spirit will live on through the myriad of other events scheduled.

Beale St. in Memphis, TN.

World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest

From May 15-18, 2024, the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest is the place to be for culinary enthusiasts. With global competitors battling it out, this event is more than just a feast; it’s a celebration of flavors where you can snag a general admission or a VIPit Pass to get up close with the masters of barbecue.

Pork BBQ ribs, smothered with BBQ sauce. Drooling yet?

The Great American River Run

Set for May 25th, the Great American River Run offers races for every level—5k, 10k, and half marathon. Runners will enjoy a scenic route along the Mississippi River, soaking in the beauty of downtown Memphis as they compete or simply enjoy the journey.

Celebrating French Culture

In 2024, Memphis in May honors France, showcasing its rich culture and heritage. Expect a variety of events that highlight French cuisine, art, and music, providing a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the French way of life without leaving the U.S.

Understanding The Event

Memphis in May isn’t just an event; it’s a tradition that dates back, bringing together diverse forms of entertainment and cultural appreciation. Over the years, it has paid homage to countries across the globe, enriching Memphis with a tapestry of global influences.

A Culinary Competition Like No Other

The World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest is a highlight for many, known as one of the most prestigious pork barbecue competitions worldwide. With over 250 teams participating, it’s a testament to the art of barbecue. Categories in the barbecue contest include rib, shoulder, and whole hog, with a special division for amateur teams known as Patio Porkers.

A Global Celebration in Memphis

Each year, the festival’s salute to a different country brings the world to Memphis. Typically, International Week follows the Beale Street Music Festival, dedicated to the honored country, offering food, exhibits, and educational programs. The 2024 focus on France will add a new layer to this cultural mosaic, offering attendees a chance to explore French traditions.

Did you know? The barbecue contest began in 1978 and has grown significantly, with over 100,000 attendees in recent years.

Engaging in the Festivities

Memphis in May is more than a series of events; it’s a community celebration that brings together locals and visitors in the spirit of music, food, and culture. Whether you’re there to compete in the barbecue contest, run along the Mississippi, or immerse yourself in French culture, there’s a place for you in this festival.

Memphis in May 2024 is set to be an unforgettable event, filled with unique experiences that celebrate the essence of Memphis and its global connections. Even without the Beale Street Music Festival, the city will be alive with the vibrancy of French culture, the aroma of world-class barbecue, and the exhilarating challenge of the Great American River Run.

Looking for more fun to have in Memphis, TN? Check out our blog on 6 things to do in Memphis, TN this weekend.