10 Reasons Not To Miss Mempho Music Festival June 2, 2021 10:04
Photo by Craig Baird: Home Team Photography
Words by Jordan Kirkland: Live & Listen
It's hard to believe we're actually approaching a real festival season. The experience of living through a global pandemic can definitely put things into perspective. First and foremost, I am grateful to be alive. I'm also grateful for the health of my friends and family. There were certainly times when it felt like we would never get back to this point, yet here we are.
As major national touring acts began confirming full capacity tours, the concept of going to a music festival began to feel like a real possibility. It didn't take long for Mempho Music Festival to confirm its return for a fourth year in Memphis, Tennessee. With artists such as Widespread Panic and The Avett Brothers headlining this year's festivities, it's safe to say that this may be Mempho's best year to date.
As a method of burning the time and preparing for what's ahead, I put together a list of ten reasons why you just don't want to miss out on this festival. In addition, we will be giving away a pair of GA weekend passes to the festival in the weeks to come. If you'd like to enter the contest, simply head over to our Facebook and/or Instagram page for instructions on how to do so.
1. Not one, but two nights of Widespread Panic. Need we say more?
- Let's face it. This festival is in the heart of Panic country, and there is not a more prime candidate to headline multiple nights this year. The band's history in Memphis is well documented, and those who have attended any of Panic's past runs at Mud Island, Mid-South Coliseum, FedEx Forum, or even Beale Street Music Festival can attest to that. Something about performing in Tennessee always seems to bring out the best in the band, and if anyone understands the level of expectation for these four sets, it's these guys right here.
2. Billy Freakin' Strings: Is there a hotter artist on the planet right now?
- Today's announcement confirmed the rumors that have been swirling over the past few months. Billy Strings is the latest addition to the lineup. While the majority of the music industry fell dormant over the past year, Billy Strings managed to take a meteoric rise in popularity. If you've had a chance to watch Billy and his band perform, it's really not surprising at all. Innovation is key with these guys, and what they've provided both musically and technologically has been nothing short of amazing.
- Could we see another collaboration between Billy and Widespread Panic? Time will tell whether the two will perform on the same night. We'll be keeping our fingers crossed for more of what was seen at the Ryman Auditorium in 2019.
3. The Avett Brothers: Another phenomenal headliner.
- How could we go any further without honing in on these guys? You'd be hard pressed to find anyone who has seen a less than stellar performance from The Avett Brothers. This band combines bluegrass, country, punk, pop melodies, folk, rock and roll, indie rock, honky tonk, and ragtime to produce a novel sound described by the San Francisco Chronicle as having the "heavy sadness of Townes Van Zandt, the light pop concision of Buddy Holly, the tuneful jangle of The Beatles, the raw energy of the Ramones." Their commercial success is well documented, and there's no doubt that they'll close out the weekend with some electric energy.
4. This lineup offers a beautiful variety that any music fan can enjoy.
- It's a challenge to even begin keeping up with the amount of annual music festivals resurfacing this year. While many of the these lineups are designed to cater to a specific fan base, such as jam bands or bluegrass, Mempho steps outside the box. While there's certainly some jam over the weekend, major national acts such as Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Black Pumas, Moon Taxi, Andy Frasco & The UN, & Christone "Kingfish" Ingram make for an immense amount of variety from top to bottom.
5. Radians Amphitheater at Memphis Botanical Gardens: A truly beautiful venue.
For over 20 years, the Memphis Botanic Garden has been host to world-class musicians and artistic performances through the Live at the Garden concert series, Summer Symphony, and Wolf at the Garden among many other events. Recently, the concert venue partnered with local company Radians, Inc., becoming the new Radians Amphitheater. The amphitheater, located in the heart of Memphis, has been voted Best Memphis Event and Best Place To See Live Music in Memphis by The Commercial Appeal and the Memphis Flyer and will now be the new home for Mempho Music Festival.
Memphis Botanic Garden features 30 specialty gardens over 96 acres in the heart of Memphis, Tennessee. It is also home to the W.C. Paul Arboretum which boasts more than 170 species of trees. Beyond being an urban oasis for the Mid-south, the Garden offers year-round educational programming for adults and youth, art exhibitions, and community events.
6. This VIP experience will be tough to beat.
- Did you know that Mempho is offering an exclusive VIP experience? Check out what this package includes here, and head over to the festival's official website for further details: Dedicated VIP entry, complimentary VIP parking, dedicated VIP lounge with comfortable furniture, $100 in Mempho Bucks, special VIP merch area and on-demand Mempho t-shirt printing, catered hors doeuvres throughout the day, exclusive VIP food options, private bar, private (and air-conditioned) restrooms, dedicated viewing area in front of main stage, and free WiFi + charging stations.
7. The Vendors: Delicious options from local favorites and out of town must-haves.
- Mempho is a well rounded immersive experience not only with music, but with food and beverage as well. Choices range from the city’s famous barbecue, to exotic food trucks and gourmet cuisine prepared by the area’s finest chefs and restaurateurs. It will definitely be worth your time (and money) to get familiar with this year's vendor village.
8. The Incendia Dome: Melding worlds of arts, engineering, & science.
According to the festival website, Incendia is a mobile, modular artistic installation and interactive event space designed to create a unique and awe-inspiring experience for all those who enter. The geodesic structure features a spellbinding propane flame effect across it's lofty ceilings, which provide light, heat, and wonderment to all those who dwell within.
Incendia's essence lies within it's innovative design, which harnesses the chaotic nature of an ascending flame beneath an impenetrable ceiling to create an undulating, rippling, and downright enrapturing exothermic effect that projects light and heat upon those who dance below. The mystical pall cast by the enchanting plane of fire overhead facilitates an experience that cannot be adequately described to the objective bystander; it must be experienced to be understood.
9. Zero Waste: This festival is committed.
- Mempho also committed to the goal of zero waste. Their team team and brand partners demonstrate best in class environmental practices and stewardship with the goal of leaving a better place for the next generation. We find this to be as important as factor as any in this day and age. We're all in this thing together, and it's important to keep the big picture in mind. We should all appreciate Mempho's commitment to zero waste.
10. We've been cooped up too long. The world is opening back up. It's time to treat yourself.
- It's probably been way too long since you've made it to a music festival. I'd be willing to bet it's been well over a year, even for those who make it a common practice. After the year of hell that we've all been through, we all deserve a weekend with music, friends, and lots of celebrating. If you're not already planning to attend Mempho Music Festival, hopefully this article has at least got you thinking a little more seriously about it. You might as well enter the ticket contest and see what happens!
Check out DittyTv's official 2019 recap of Mempho Music Festival here: