The Beale Street Music Festival 2002


The Beale Street Music Festival is a three-day music festival that has both a mix of big-name stars performing side by side with local musical acts. Held during the first weekend of May in the city’s Tom Lee Park at the foot of Beale Street, it is considered to be the kick-off event of the entire Memphis in May celebration. It typically hosts 100,000+ people for each of the first two nights of the event, and usually quite large crowds for the ending big-name finales on Sunday night. The festival was added a year after Memphis in May was created. Its history can be traced back to the 1800s, when African-American musicians throughout the South would come to Beale Street and perform.

Every year the festival recognizes a different country. A week of events and publicity, starting the day after the Beale Street Music Fest, is dedicated to this country and it showcases the foods and culture of that nation. While International Week provides a learning experience for the community at large, the core is a comprehensive educational program for area youth in public and private schools throughout Memphis and Shelby County. The goal of International Week is for area students, by the time they graduate from high school, to have had the opportunity to experience the customs and cultures of twelve different countries. Countries recognized in the earliest years– Japan and Germany – have been featured twice. Perhaps more important are trade delegations which visit here and have high-level introductions to suitable trade partners.


Location: Memphis, TN

Dates:  May 3rd- May 5th, 2002

Years Active- 1977-Present

Genres- ALL