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Some Photos For A Day in The Life Of A Memphis In May Intern

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Memphians’ Speak Their Mind

By Caly Johnson

Click http://youtu.be/V_MLdGGKDbo to view my new video!

In the city of Memphis it is well-known that when news stations interview people about a “top news story” they normally pick THE weirdest people in the world. Doing this interview I now understand why: No matter how big our city is, it’s extraordinarily hard to get away from them, BUT that’s why we all love this humorous place! Check out the new video to see what our cooky fellow citizens have to say about Beale Street Music Festival!

Wondering How We Make The Lineups?

By Caly Johnson

On the morning of February 28th, Thomas Salley got on his computer and instantly went to the Memphis in May website to view the newly released 2012 Beale Street Music Festival artist lineup. Unfortunately, he wasn’t satisfied with what he saw. “The lineup is almost identical to Bonaroo and Wakarusa’s line up,” Salley, a senior at the University of Memphis, says. “There are some bands coming that I am excited about but it doesn’t seem like Beale Street Music Festival is trying to be as original as it used to be. It makes me wonder, how the lineups for music festivals are chosen nowadays?”

The Beale Street Music Festival, locally known as ‘Music Fest,’ has developed into one of the biggest celebrations in the United States, luring people from all over the world to experience a commemoration in the birthplace of the Blues: Beale Street, Memphis. One can’t value music without grasping its roots, and one can’t value the Blues without going to the place where it was born.

Nominated for Music Festival of The Year for the Pollstar’s Concert Industry Award and named by Playboy Magazine as one of the “Fun 2000” events, Memphis’ Music Fest includes exciting attractions that are accompanied by satisfying food and drinks. Popular vendors such as FedEx, Southern Comfort, Horseshoe Casino, Bud Light, multiple Memphis restaurants, and numerous local and national companies sponsor Music Fest so it can continue to bring the community, nation, and world to Downtown Memphis to experience the culture, art, and, especially, the music.

The employees at Memphis in May International Festival work all year to make this 3-day event mind blowing for its fans. They concentrate on getting the perfect food, beverages, entertainment, and music that has kept its fans coming back every May. Tanya Dyson-Jerry, Memphis in May’s Marketing Coordinator, explains, “Memphis in May has a committee of people who choose from artists that are either touring or are available to perform.” The committee listens to artists’ demos and/or records, making their decision based on things like creativeness, performance ability, songwriting skills, career establishment, and overall originality. Artists are reviewed, declined or accepted, and then the invitations are extended.

“Does Music Fest not care who the popular artists are right now? Do they ignore things like Apple’s iTunes Top Chart or Billboard’s Top 100 List,” Anna Clark, a junior at Rhodes College, asks. Memphis in May strongly cares about artists’ popularity, but like the popular kids in high school constantly having plans over the weekend, popular artists and bands also have things to do throughout the year.  Some artists have a full touring schedule, while others are taking a break from their busy lifestyles. The music committee attempts to provide fans with a nonstop buffet of rock, pop, blues, soul, rap, and R&B to feed their music-starved stomachs with.

Luckily, not all fans of Beale Street Music Festival are disappointed with this year’s lineup. Eager Music Fest fanatic, Stephen Channell, student at Southwest Tennessee Community College, says, “The 2012 lineup creates a perfect blend of oldies and new music. I am excited about Primus, Megadeth, and Girl Talk, in addition to, Al Green and Jerry Lee Lewis. The lineup this year is the perfect mix of genres. Memphis in May did a good job providing the different types of music for everyone.” Big names, like Gary Bongiovanni, editor of concert industry trade journal, Pollstar, are thoroughly impressed with the lineup. “Florence and the Machine, The Civil Wars, Wiz Khalifa, Gary Clark Jr. Grace Potter, Childish Gambino and many others give the festival exciting new acts to go with the stalwarts…” Bongiovanni comments to Bob Mehr, for Go Memphis. “There’s plenty of reason for music fans to visit Memphis in May.”

Music Fest is celebrating its 36th anniversary with hopes to keep fans coming back. Diane Hampton, Memphis in May executive vice-president, also states for Go Memphis, “Our mission calls for us to promote Memphis culture and heritage; certainly Memphis music, and blues music, is a big part of that. The Beale Street Music Festival is the lamplight of Memphis music out to the world. So not only is it a responsibility, it’s a part of what makes the festival a destination event for a lot of people. We feel we’ve got a good representation of Memphis artists this year.”

The Countdown is Coming to an End!!

By Caly Johnson

It’s April 11th which means that Beale Street Music Festival is coming up VERY soon! The Memphis in May office is buzzing with excitement, nerves, and people running around like chickens with their heads cut off. Myself included!

Today I woke up at 8 AM and ran all around the city of Memphis (Downtown, Uptown, Midtown, East Memphis, and the campus area) to put up MULTIPLE posters for BSMF 2012! Needless to say, don’t wear high-heeled wedges when you’re wandering around town.

From the get-go, it has amazed me how the connections, fans, and volunteers that have accumulated throughout Memphis in May’s 36 years still LOVE what how they are running the show. Memphians are always more than happy about posting news about the upcoming celebration in their offices. Of course, 95% of them ask “Hey! Does this mean we get free tickets?” If it were up to me BSMF would be a free-for-all and everyone could come down to Tom Lee Park for the music, (more than likely) mud, and good times.The picture above is just one example of how Memphis in May influences peoples lives. It was a gift from La Maison of Artisan in Morocco! And if you can’t tell exactly what it is, it’s a GIGANTIC wall tapestry!

My internship at Memphis in May has truly taught me how festivals and events like these can be a blessing to others, and not just because it’s a fun time. Most people don’t even realize that Memphis in May honors a country every year, but I’ve noticed that the country we represent feels extremely honored  and even touched by the corporation’s hard work and research to bring that specific country to the birthplace of the Blues.

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The Rules of Beale Street Music Festival

By Caly Johnson

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A Blogger’s Dream!

By Caly Johnson

I have good news! My boss over at Memphis In May told me that I was going to start responding to the Q&A emails they get! Well, to some that’s good news. I am now responsible for informing the public about their confusion or interest!

If you have any questions about anything having to do with Memphis in May! Let me know just shoot me an e-mail at intern@memphisinmay.org

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Another Chance to Win BSMF Tickets!

By Caly Johnson

 

Sad about missing out on the BSMF Facebook’s ‘Song of the Day’ competition? Have no fear! Beale Street Music Festival’s Facebook is giving out another chance for fans to win!

Two for Tuesday Trivia involves a question asked about BSMF every Tuesday. They will randomly pick from the CORRECT answers and the winner will win two 3-day passes!

The questions can be simple or tough but it all depends on your knowledge about the Beale Street Music Festival!

Check out BSMF Facebook every Tuesday and let’s see how much you know!

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Where Did The Connections Come From??

By Caly Johnson

Sitting at my intern desk, eating my lunch and finishing up a task my boss has told me to do, I hear her laughing at the nice receptionist that sits right in front of the elevators. She comes down to my designated area of the office called “the dungeon” and tells me what I need to do before I leave and when I come in in the morning. Her final task is making a contact list of the blogs that Memphis in May wants to invite to the Beale Street Music Festival. I, of course, accept her job but wisely hide my shock and awe at how MANY blogs they are going to invite.

I want you to think of Music, as a genre, a passion, a gift, a talent, a form of entertainment, something one can critique, and many more ways it could be described. Now I want you to guess how many blogs are out there, not just in the United States, but the world, that are purely about music and its different forms and descriptions. There. Are. A. Lot.

Fortunately, I didn’t have to find ALL the blogs, just the big ones, which is still a numerous amount. I spent the entire afternoon, and part of the next morning, going through each blog, finding their contact information, reading their “About Us” section and creating an Excel Sheet so my boss could think of who to add to our Media list. What I wouldn’t think would happen is that I would go home and read most of the posts from most of the blogs (obviously I didn’t go on a spring break trip).

I found out how interesting, creative, different, amusing, sarcastic, flamboyant, ridiculous, and insane some of these bloggers were, but I totally and completely respected each of their work. I also decided to put MY favorite blogs on my blog roll! So check them out!

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Full Details of each Artist, Stage, and Day!

By Caly Johnson

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2012 Lineup! Enjoy!