Mempho returns bigger, better

Mempho Music Festival 2017

Photo courtesy of We Are Memphis

Mempho Music Festival 2017

Lauren Clark '22, Staff Writer

In less than a month, Mempho will be returning to Shelby Farms. In its second year, this Memphis music music festival will bring together the community for a variety of music, yummy food and camping at the 4,500 acre farm.  Hosted by Big River Presents, Mempho will be running for its second time on Columbus Day Weekend, Oct. 6 and 7 with even bigger performers than last year.

On Saturday, two Grammy Award winners will take the stage—Beck and Phoenix. Grammy nominated R&B Queen Janelle Monae will also be headlining the event. Alternative rock band Milky Chance, Juicy J and other talented artists will be following. On Sunday, hip hop king Post Malone is slated to draw the biggest crowd. Right behind him, Nas, the 15-year-old guitar phenomenon, will also be an unmissable performance. With more than twenty-five acts over three days, the weekend will combine the roots of Memphis to hip-hop, rock and a bit from a variety of genres for people of all ages to enjoy.  

“We have a programming team that spends countless hours curating the line up,” Mempho founder Diego Winegardner said. “We care deeply about the music and how the line up is created. It’s almost like making a mix tape—where you want the flow to be tight.”

This year, presale ticket sales show that the event has already grown significantly. In 2017, Mempho had 10,000 attendees, but 2018 will see over 20,000. The stages are bigger this year, and there are more food vendors. A new addition this year will be the camping—or as some prefer, “glamping”— option.

“Well I think it’s a combination of an exceptional fan experience in our first year combined with the sensational line up we have managed to pull together for this year. By adding camping this year we have made Mempho appealing to a broader audience,” Winegardner said.

This growth will be sure to benefit a few of the nonprofits Mempho will be partnering with. Mempho will be working with the Memphis Area Women’s Council to promote the Memphis Says NO MORE campaign which raises awareness for sexual assault and domestic violence. Mempho has also teamed up with the Oceanic Global foundation that educates people about being kind to the environment to protect the ocean. Mempho will be providing tickets to music educators and students through the Mempho non-profit Mempho Matters’ “Learn to Rock” funding initiative.

“Mempho Matters is our heartbeat, as our non-profit arm, we want to make sure we are building bridges throughout the Memphis community,” Winegardner said. “The program ‘Learn To Rock’ distributes tickets to music teachers and music students throughout Memphis and overtime will be involved in developing more after school music programs as well. We want to make Mempho as accessible as possible and a real part of the Memphis community.”

This festival is all about bringing people together through music to benefit charitable causes. Tickets are available on the Mempho website. VIP passes and camping options are available for purchase.

The full lineup: Beck, Post Malone, Phoenix, Janelle Monáe, Nas, Mac DeMarco, Milky Chance, Rich The Kid, George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, Juicy J, Project Pat, Stones Throw (feat. Chuck Leavell, Bernard Fowler, Farryl Jones, Tim Ries, Karl Denson, Lisa Fischer), Lucero, The Bar-Kays, Big Ass Truck, Larkin Poe, Eric Gales, Royal Studios Presents William Bell, Al Kapone, Bobby Rush, Frayser Boy, & Hi Rhythm Section, Don Bryant & The Bo-Keys, Danny Barnes’ Space Program, John Nemeth & The Love Light Orchestra, The Como Mamas, Sam Lewis, Boo Mitchell & The Kings, Talibah Safiya, Cory Branan, Brandon “Taz” Niederuaer (Artist-At-Large), and DJ sets from Rob Garza and DJ Logic.