Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Live Music In Memphis This Weekend

Friday Late Night Dessert

Memphis Jones

Its a bit of a drive, but the donuts at Gibsons Donuts are well worth it. Plus, this amazing donut shop is open 24/7, so you can stop by to cure those late-night sugar cravings at 2am without judgment.

Personally I like to think of mutual diet-enabling as one of the most romantic aspects of my marriage, and if stuffing your face with a Maple Bacon Donut or a Girl Scout Cookie Samoa donut isnt the pinnacle of romance, I dont want to know what is.

How To Get To Memphis

As there are a number of states surrounding Tennessee, driving is a great option. The distance from the following cities are below.

  • Little Rock, AR: 135 miles
  • Jackson, MS: 210 miles
  • Nashville, TN: 213 miles
  • Huntsville, AL: 216 miles
  • Birmingham, AL: 238 miles
  • St. Louis, MO: 283 miles

If you are flying into Memphis, you want to book your flight into Memphis International Airport .

The airport is 13 miles from downtown Memphis. You can either rent a car or take an Uber/Lyft to your hotel.

Tips: If you know you want to see Memphis attractions outside of downtown that will require a car, book a car rental just for a day or the last portion of your trip. Or you can take an Uber/Lyft as well!

Live At The Garden: Little Big Town

Tickets: $50 General Admission only, available through Ticketmaster

Live at the Garden is a Rain or Shine event, and everyone needs a ticket . The show starts at 8:00 p.m. Gates open at 6:00 p.m. and parking opens at 5:00 p.m.

The Radians Ampitheater is located inside the Memphis Botanic Garden at 750 Cherry Road in East Memphis.There is free and paid parking available.

Free Parking is located in the north lot at Southern Avenue and Perkins Road. There are 2 entrances, one off of Perkins Road going southbound, and the other on Southern Avenue for eastbound traffic.All free parking is first come, first serve.

Paid Parking is located in the Marine Sales Parking Lot off of Cherry Road. There are two entrances, one coming eastbound from Southern Avenue onto Cherry Road, and the other coming westbound from Park Avenue onto Cherry Road.

Here’s a summary of the rules from the official Live at the Garden website:

  • You can bring your own lawn chairs, blankets, tables smaller than 3 ft. by 3 ft., and small umbrellas in case of rain.
  • You can bring your own picnics and coolers, as well as wagons to carry everything.
  • Everything is subject to search.
  • No weapons, candles, fireworks, laser pointers, drones, or video recording, in addition to a few other things that seem like common sense.
  • There are potable toilets and will be food and drinks for sale.
  • Food is also available for pre-orders through several of the vendors.
  • No smoking is allowed.

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Curtis Givens’ Can I Live Weekend: All White Affair Power 30 Reception And Much More

For more than a quarter-century, Curtis Givens‘ name has been synonymous with fun, celebrity-studded galas and lavish celebrations of Black excellence in Memphis.

This week, Givens the 44-year-old party promoter, club owner and entertainment entrepreneur will oversee and have his imprimatur on the mix of events that make up the annual Can I Live festivities.

The founder of CGI Entertainment, Givens become a key figure in the citys event, party and nightlife scene. He has helped stage the University of Memphis basketball’s Memphis Madness and created perennial multi-faceted festivities like the Can I Live weekend and the annual post-Thanksgiving All Black Affair. Givens has also thrown lavish parties celebrating his own birthday each February.

Since throwing his first event at the long-defunct Aristocrat Club in 1996, Givens has established himself as a powerhouse party promoter, specifically catering to the city’s Black culture and community. Within a few years of promoting his first party, Givens had firmly established himself as a Midas-fingered figure in the city’s entertainment scene, with a series of themed, often formal or dress-up, events.

YO GOTTI’S BIRTHDAY BASH: 5 things to know about the summer concert spectacular

This years Can I Live programming runs Thursday through Sunday. Here are some things to know before you go.

Walk Over To Mud Island

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If you enjoy exploring by foot, walk over to Mud Island Park with the Mississippi River separating it from downtown Memphis.

It is actually a small peninsula with most of the area open green space and residential housing in the northern area known as Harbor Town.

You might be wondering how it got its name? The island was built using sand, gravel, and silt so basically mud

I enjoyed walking over via the skybridge as it provides so many lovely vantage points of the Mississippi River and the huge Bass Pro Shop pyramid.

To walk across the skybridge, around the park, and back, expect to walk 2 3 miles.

You could also drive if you are short on time or prefer not to walk. Although it wasnt working during my visit, there is a monorail that can take you across so that might be an option but I wouldnt count on it.

The main reason to visit Mud Island? For awesome Memphis skyline views and the huge 50-foot MEMPHIS letters!

There is also an outdoor amphitheater and museum to explore too. As you make your way from the skybridge out to the MEMPHIS letters, there is a lovely scale model of the Mississippi River carved into the concrete.

Walk along the scaled replica of the Mississippi River and stop at the various signs that provide info and history on this vital river. The replica is 2,000 feet long!

Tip: The MEMPHIS letters are at the southernmost tip of Mud Island.

Note: To access the skybridge, enter at 125 N. Front Street.

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The 15 Best Places With Live Music In Memphis

The Commercial Appeal: Built in 1936, the Shell once hosted acts like Elvis and Big Star. After years of disrepair it reopened in 2008 with help from the Levitt Foundation and is once again a great place to see live music.

Glyn Vandenberg: Summer Concert Series is the best free thing to do in Memphis. Grab a group of friends, a blanket and a cooler, you’re golden. Bound to hear some incredible acts too – FO FREE!

Memphis Travel: Catch live musicians nightly at Rum Boogie. Grab a seat by the window so you can people watch on Beale while enjoying fantastic tunes.

Carrie Brown: Go up the spiral staircase. I think purely in terms of layout, atmosphere and amenities, this could be the best bar I’ve ever been to. Games, view, couch, tv’s, bar, live music, balcony, soul.

Justin Miller: Great place to start off your night at Beale St. Tremendous food while listening to live blues music. Try out their fried pickles and pulled pork.

Memphis Travel: There is a huge stage set up at the front of the bar for live bands. Reasonable prices and a wide beer selection makes Young Avenue Deli one of the best music venues outside of Downtown Memphis.

Adam Rowe: Love huge stage and acoustics are great for live bands. Reasonable $$ and a wide beer selection makes Young Avenue Deli one of the best music venues outside of Downtown Memphis!

Ashley Staton: Great food late at night!!! Live bands and the best sweet potato fries in Memphis!

Shanita McLaurin: Loved the live band 🙂

Weekend In Memphis Itinerary Summary

I know, I know this is a long AF post. Yall, dont ever say we arent thorough. Luckily for you, weve compiled our itinerary into a super handy, 1-page downloadable and printable map!

Load it up on your phone so you can easily navigate from place to place, or print it out and make notes on it if youre my mom/me/my sister/anyone else in my family of obsessive note-takers.

Enter your email below and well send this itinerary right to your inbox!

We hope you enjoy meeting the Peabody Ducks, dancing on Beale Street, vibing at Stax Records, visiting Graceland, and tasting real Memphis BBQ on your weekend in Memphis! Were dying to go back, so maybe well see you there!

Psst: Planning a trip to Tennessee? Check out some of our other favorite nearby destinations!

What are you most excited to explore in Memphis? Leave us a comment below!

Did you find this post informative? Save it for later on Pinterest! Note: Full-sized image can be found by clicking the Pin It button.

Disclaimer: This post, and our trip to Memphis, were sponsored by Memphis Travel. Our itinerary was 100% our own, as are our opinions, political leanings, terrible jokes, and references to the Duck Cane which probably has a very respectable real name.

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Meet The Peabody Ducks

Yes, your very first stop in Memphis will be to catch the nightly parade of the adorable Peabody Ducks at the historic Peabody Hotel! I cant imagine a better way to say hello to Memphis.

The Peabody Ducks live on a roof in their own little Chateau du Canard for only 3 months out of the year, so its like a little duck vacation.

Every day, the ducks waddle into the elevator, bobble down to the lobby, and awkwardly flop their way into the fountain. Then they paddle around the fountain splashing water at each other and making cute little quacking noises and generally being the most adorable thing ever for a few hours, before flopping out of the fountain, waddling back into the elevator, and settling in for the night on the roof again.

And their morning and evening commutes are a major red carpet affair, complete with a Duckmster to chaperone them and crowds of adoring fans to cheer on their every waddle! Yes, its all as wonderfully weird as it sounds.

Speaking of which can I like humble brag/gush for a sec??

Through some kind of glorious twist of magical fate , I was offered the opportunity to be the Honorary Duckmaster of the Peabody Ducks. This is the biggest of deals. The list of Honorary Duckmasters includes Oprah Winfrey, Paula Deen, Gene Simmons, The Cookie Monster, and apparently, me. I just wish we could all get together to have a dinner party. I think wed have a lot to talk about.

The Rendezvous

Take A Stroll In Elmwood Cemetery

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Located about 4 miles east of downtown Memphis is the historic Elmwood Cemetery built in 1852 and the oldest cemetery in town.

For years most people have associated cemeteries with death, sadness, creepiness, and ghosts. But in the Victorian era of the 1800s, it was the complete opposite!

Cemeteries were usually the best groomed and manicured parks in a city where people went to gather, have a picnic, and visit with family that had passed. They were a green space to enjoy rather than avoid.

And what better way to learn more about the history of a cemetery than by taking a tour!

My lovely guide Sheena was a wealth of knowledge and knew so much about the residents of Elmwood.

Most if not all of the stories about these past Memphis locals were quite scandalous and notorious for their time.

One of my favorites was of a prominent woman from the 1800s who happen to keep losing husband after husband in mysterious deaths.

Since there were no autopsies or tests to determine many forms of death it wasnt until after the 6th husband people started wondering

Some of the most famous people from Memphis and many who founded Memphis are laid here too.

As you walk down the various paths you will notice the beautiful and ornate headstones, statues, and plants that tell a story of a different era. Some even have funny phrases on their headstone!

In one section there are thousands of people buried from the Yellow Fever outbreak that wiped out a good portion of the population in 1878.

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National Civil Rights Museum

The National Civil Rights Museum has a unique location compared to the average museum. It is located at the Lorraine Motel a few minutes south of Beale Street.

During the 1920s and into the 1960s, the Lorraine Motel became a place for black visitors and travelers to stay when in Memphis.

As one of the only motels in the area to welcome black guests, notable black musicians, baseball players, and civil rights leaders stayed here.

Guests such as Otis Redding, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Louis Armstrong, and Martin Luther King Jr. frequented it.

Although he visited often, .

As he was talking to friends from the balcony of his room #306, he was brutally assassinated there on the spot by a shot to the neck.

The room has since been preserved from that horrible day in 1968 and is now part of the National Civil Rights Museum.

The museum expanded to include the motel and keep the front frozen in time with a wreath marking where he took his last breath.

This incident is only one of many in the civil rights movement that you will learn about as you explore the various exhibits in the museum.

Visiting the museum is one of the top things to do in Memphis for the history, photos, and videos that give a perspective that many of us have never heard of or are only faintly aware of.

Hours: Open Wednesday Monday from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm and closed on Tuesday.

Visit The National Civil Rights Museum

Your next stop of the day is less than 5 minutes away on foot: National Civil Rights Museum.

Heads up: visiting the Civil Rights Museum is heavy. But without hyperbole, I can say without hesitation that the National Civil Rights Museum is hand down one of the best museums I have ever visited in my life, if not THE best, anywhere in the world. It is a museum capable of reducing you to tears and then building you right back up again.

The detail, the depth of information, the meticulous design, and immersive displays set this museum a cut above any other museum Ive ever visited. You will leave this museum feeling moved. You might also feel inspired. Hopeful. Enlightened. This is a powerful place.

Its not just that the museum is in the Lorraine Motel, the very spot where Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered. Its not just that youll read about his final moments while standing where he stood, or walk across the street to trace the steps of his killer, and then trace the conspiracy theories surrounding the mysterious events that led an unmotivated man to murder the most influential Black man of that time.

No, thats not all that makes the National Civil Rights Museum so powerful.

Children as young as 14 signed their wills and chose to participate in dangerous activism activities daily, fully knowing that they risked their lives every single day. They were beaten, jailed, expelled, and murdered.


Let that sink in for a minute.

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Sunday In Memphis: Soul Civil Rights And Bbq

Saturdays itinerary was all about the music Sundays is all about the history and culture, the story of Memphis, and what makes it the unique city it is today. The story of Memphis is also the story of Black America: from the thriving Black culture and wealth that surrounded Beale Street, to art, music, and food that was born in and created by the Black community, to the integral role Memphis played in the Civil Rights Movement, including becoming the city where Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered.

Heres the thing: Memphis isnt just the home of Rock N Roll. You cant credit Memphis with creating Rock N Roll without also crediting Soul for and Blues for inspiring Rock N Roll. And you cant talk about soul and blues without talking about race.

These musical genres were born from a shared experience of Blackness, a shared experience felt by a displaced population who did not speak one anothers language but felt the universal language of suffering way back when they were enslaved and sang field songs that spoke to the depth of their pain as they worked under whip and lash in the hot sun.

Those field songs later became gospel and blues, which became Soul and Motown, which in turn jumped the fence and became Rock N Roll: a genre rooted in Black rhythm but no longer a Black musical genre.

Live Music In Memphis This Weekend: July 15

2021 Live At The Garden Lineup

It’s a big music weekend in Memphis. Beale Street, Overton Park, and the Botanic Gardens are all hosting big acts as part of their summer concerts Get Loud, Shell Yeah, and Live at the Garden. If you’re in the mood for a smaller show or dinner and dancing, check out one of Memphis’s favorite live music venues. Read on for the musical scoop in Memphis this weekend!

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Plan Your Next Event At The Atrium

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