Local Festivals

Published on August 29th, 2018 | by Nature Humphries


MEMPHO Music Festival 2018: Make plans now for this stellar Memphis festival October 6–7

Building upon the success of 2017’s inaugural MEMPHO Music Festival, this year’s two-day event will again bring together some of today’s top performers with classic Memphis greats at the spectacular 4,500-acre Shelby Farms Park. Taking place the Saturday and Sunday of Columbus Day weekend, October 6–7, MEMPHO is an opportunity to take in some truly memorable music while enjoying all that the park has to offer—hiking, fishing, zip lining, kayaking, and more.

Headlining this year’s festival for Saturday is genre-bending megastar Beck, whose career has spanned nearly 25 years since his first hit single, “Loser,” topped the charts in 1994. Saturday will also feature R&B queen Janelle Monáe, French disco-rock band Phoenix, plus Juicy J, Project Pat, and more.

Sunday’s main attractions are hip-hop phenoms Post Malone and Nas. Rich the Kid, George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, and Larkin Poe are among the other performances that day.

The weekend will be jam-packed with music, including late-night DJ jams and some special surprise sets, so there will be something for everyone. Festival goers will be treated to old favorites as well as rising talent across multiple genres.


MEMPHO founder Diego Winegardner has always been a music fan. Growing up in Memphis in the 70s and 80s certainly influenced his passion for live music and festivals in particular. “Two years ago I was visiting Memphis and went on a bike ride with some friends on the Greenline . . . and we ended up at Shelby Farms Park,” said Winegardner. “It was a beautiful day; the sun was setting on Hyde Lake, and I just had a lightning bolt moment where I thought, man, wouldn’t it be great to have a world-class music festival here at this incredible site, which is five times larger than Central Park.”

Pulling the festival together took only four or five months, an incredible turnaround from concept to fruition for a major festival. “None of that would have been possible without the extraordinary support and collaboration from business leaders in the community,” said Winegardner. “It was very helpful [to] have everybody rowing in the same direction and wanting this to happen.”

This year’s festival is even more ambitious: bigger stages, more food vendors, stellar music lineup, and the addition of a camping option. Hoping to double 2017’s approximately 10,000 attendees, Winegardner noted the enhanced lineup. “We’ve included some additional genres that we didn’t really touch on last year, like hip-hop, which seems to be the most popular genre in music today,” he said. “At the same time we still have a lot of cool alternative rock as well as great music from Memphis locally.”

Indeed, one of the central concepts of the festival is to pay “homage to the Memphis community’s unique role in shaping and influencing global music culture.” Winegardner hopes to honor this aspect of the festival because, he said, “Memphis . . . is as important to the history of American music as Washington DC is to the founding of our great country. It’s the birthplace of blues, soul, and rock ‘n’ roll . . . from Elvis, to Sun Records, to Stax, and all the greats that came out of there, Otis Redding, Booker T & The MGs, Isaac Hayes, it’s incredible. So if you look at the rich history of Memphis music, it’s something that we will always pay homage to at MEMPHO.”

Last year featured a tribute to Stax Records with Booker T, Steve Cropper, and more; this year’s tribute to Royal Studios will feature William Bell, Bobby Rush, Al Kapone, Frayser Boy, and Hi Rhythm performing a set. You can bet that there will be some surprises thrown in there as well.

With two stages featuring an array of musical talent, 20+ food trucks, art vendors, camping, and outdoor activities galore, MEMPHO Music Festival is fast becoming an entry in the musical legacy of Memphis, Tennessee. “There’s lots of reasons to . . . come and see all the sights and sounds of Memphis, have fun with your friends and family, and enjoy all the splendor of the park. It will be an amazing weekend of music, food, and nature,” said Winegardner. Be a part of music history! Get your tickets now at www.memphofest.com, and sign up for The Local Voice’s Weekly Dispatch at www.thelocalvoice.net for a chance to win a pair of tickets to this year’s festival. Already signed up for the dispatch? You can still win tickets—check our Facebook for an opportunity and stay tuned for another chance coming up next week!

More about MEMPHO:

Web:  http://www.memphofest.com

 The Local Voice Ligature


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About the Author

is Editor-in-Chief of The Local Voice media company. Nature is originally from Vicksburg, Mississippi, but moved to Oxford in 2004 after spending time in the United States Navy. She also worked in the restaurant industry for many years as a Server and a Bartender. Nature graduated from Ole Miss in 2007 with a degree in English and Modern Languages.

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