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Crews, neighbors prepare for thousands of people at BSMF

Published: Apr. 28, 2022 at 4:55 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Friday evening the first bands of Beale Street Music Festival will take the stage at Liberty Park.

Residents in Midtown are expecting a lot of people and traffic delays, and they have a message to those coming to the area for the festival.

Midtown is home to the festival while its traditional site of Tom Lee Park is under renovation.

“If you don’t like noise it’s probably not the right place to live,” Cooper Young resident Paul Butler said.

Butler has lived in Cooper Young for 22 years. The years of football games, fair weeks and Cooper Young fests have him prepared for this weekend’s Beale Street Music Festival crowds.

“Every event held at the Fairgrounds overflows into the neighborhoods so it just comes with the territory,” Butler said.

City officials outlined seven designated parking lots for concert goers within walking distance of Liberty Park. Those lots include about 4,000 spots, but police expect 60,000-70,000 people at the festival. Neighbors expect many drivers will turn to the neighborhoods for a parking spot.

“The traffic will be an interesting thing, but they do have shuttle services so I hope they use them,” Cooper Young resident Heike Polster said.

Polster is talking about the MATA rapid shuttles to Liberty Park for concert goers from the University of Memphis and Downtown.

She says people are welcome to park on the street, but they just need to be be mindful not to block any driveways.

“It’s a public street,” she said.

“If you’re coming to the festival have a parking plan,” Memphis in May VP of Marketing and Programming Randy Blevins said. “Know where you’re going to park, know who is going with you. Carpooling is a great idea.”

Gates at Beale Street Music Festival open for visitors at 5 p.m. Friday.

On Thursday the finishing touches were being made at Liberty Park.

“It’s shaping up nicely and starting to look like a place where tens of thousands of people can enjoy live music,” Blevins said.

Whether they plan to go to the festival or try to get a listen from their back porch, Cooper Young neighbors are asking concert goers for one simple request.

“We’d like people to treat our neighborhood as they would their own and have a good time,” Butler said.

Tickets are still available for the Festival.

Click here for everything you need to know about BSMF.

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