Here’s a weird one! Apparently, there’s a music-festival booker out there willing to gamble on the idea that ticket-buyers want to hear stadium-folk, Southern rap, ’90s alt-rock, and absolutely nothing else. That might be a good gamble! This year, Memphis’ Beale Street Music Festival returns to Tom Lee Park the weekend of 5/1-3. The headliners are the Lumineers, Lil Wayne, and Weezer. And the acts on the bill are almost entirely bands that have things in common with the Lumineers, Lil Wayne, or Weezer.
If you’re into the vaguely rootsy singalongs of the Lumineers — and god knows plenty of people are — then you’ll find plenty to like on the Beale Street Lineup: The Avett Brothers, Brittany Howard, Of Monsters And Men, Leon Bridges, Lindsey Buckingham, Mavis Staples, Taj Mahal, Patty Griffin, Keb’ Mo’. If you’re still into going to see Weezer live, then you might also be into going to see the Smashing Pumpkins, 311, Deftones, Liam Gallagher, and Toad The Wet Sprocket. And fans of Lil Wayne might also be happy to see people like DaBaby, Nelly, and Waka Flocka Flame on the lineup. The bill also features reunited Memphis rap godfathers Three 6 Mafia, as well as plenty of other names from the booming and historically deep Memphis rap universe: Moneybagg Yo, Young Dolph, Project Pat, Al Kapone, Lil Wyte.
Beale Street also has at least a few of the sorts of things that end up at every big festival, and that don’t necessarily fit into the three categories I laid out up there: AJR, Louis The Child, Portugal. The Man. Still, it’s pretty striking how they’ve staked out those three corners! I wonder if they’ll try to divide the daily lineups up accordingly or if people are really going to just go straight from Moneybagg Yo to Lindsey Buckingham. You can find out more info on the fest here.