Music Fest 2023 generates mixed expectations


Emily Smith

Beale Street Music Festival is an annual music festival in Memphis . This year the lineup features many artists including The Lumineers, Earth, Wind, & Fire and Greta Van Fleet.

Molly Kirshbaum, Reporter

Ever since the first Memphis in May in 1977, Beale Street Music Festival has been an annual event cherished by many Memphians. The three-day festival features many different artists performing each day and is an opportunity for popular performers to come to Memphis and bring excitement into the city.

The 2023 lineup includes the Lumineers, Earth, Wind, & Fire, Greta Van Fleet, Robert Plant & Allison Krauss and HARDY.

This year’s festival is May 5-7, and many students are planning on attending. 

Not everyone is thrilled with the 2023 lineup, though.

“There are some good people, but pretty mid,” Ava Cohen (9) said.

Mia Soefker (12), however, is very excited to attend the Music Fest this year.

“I know that [the lineup] is super controversial, but I’m obsessed with the Lumineers,” Soefker said. “And I saw Greta Van Fleet in concert before, and they were amazing.”

The location of the festival is also returning back to its usual location, Tom Lee Park, unlike last year when it had to be moved to Liberty Park due to construction on the riverfront.

The $60 million renovation has been underway in Tom Lee Park for the past two years, and the park is almost completely finished. The official reopening will be on Labor Day Weekend 2023, but the renovations are taking a short pause to host this year’s Memphis in May.

“I think that it will be very different because it’s on the river and it’s Tom Lee,” Soefker said. “I’ve heard about how it was before and how dirty and crowded it gets on Tom Lee, but I’m excited to see all of the renovations that have been done and how different it will be [from last year].”

Soefker likes how Beale Street Music Festival brings all sorts of people together.

“Last year they had three different stages, and all three of them were different genres, so it was super cool to see like the old dads versus like the cool teenage kids,” Soefker said. “And they always have good food and little extra things.”  

It’s not just teenagers who enjoy Music Fest. History teacher Emily Metz, for one, attends Music Fest every year.

“It supports Memphis, it’s right off the water, brings a lot of good artists to the city and brings in a lot of money for the local economy,” Metz said. “I would much rather see artists in Memphis than Nashville because it helps Memphis.”

For her, Music Fest comes at just the right time.

“[Beale Street Music Festival] tends to be at the end of the school year, so it’s like my kickoff to summer,” Metz said.