The Mempho Music Festival lived up to its “food, music and nature” theme this year as fans gathered for the second annual event at Shelby Farms last weekend.
The two-day event kicked off Saturday with several major acts performing for fans in an intimate setting, while being surrounded by the many beautiful acres of land Shelby Farms has to offer. Upon arrival, patrons were whisked away in buses and driven to a secret location in the park, which, for many, was truly the beginning of a unique experience.
“This is so dope,” said concertgoer Rasheeda Evans. “As long as I’ve lived in Memphis and visited Shelby Farms, I’m completely blown away at how exclusive this event is. It totally exceeded my expectations.”
Janelle Monae, Juicy J and Project Pat were just a few of many acts that performed Saturday night, but the crowd seemed to gravitate to the hometown sounds from Boo Mitchell, Bobby Rush and Al Kapone as they celebrated 60 years of Royal Studios with a magical tribute.
“When I was asked to perform with such legendary people, it was a must, I had to do it,” said Al Kapone. “I’m excited and honored more than anything. I’ve been a fan of the Mitchells before my career started and it’s always a blessing to represent Memphis.”
The festival closed out Sunday with performances from rappers Rich the Kid and Nas that had the crowd amped with their chart topping hits. As the evening set, the music was loud and funky as George Clinton and the Parliament, along with The Bar-Kays that ripped the stage with sounds that Memphians were all too familiar with.
“We just (wanted) to capture the essence of Memphis in a different way,” said Mempho Fest creator and founder Diego Winegardner, who said he first envisioned Mempho Fest as he was bike riding through Shelby Farms.
“I can definitely see the Mempho Fest being along the levels of Coachella in coming years.”
Mempho Fest-goers were welcomed to a safe, fun, family-friendly atmosphere that offered some a chance to see their favorite performing artists.
“Janelle Monae is my idol”, said 8-year-old Aaliyah Taylor. “My mommy surprised me with tickets for my birthday. It was the best gift ever and I hope she comes back next year so I can see her again.
Headliner Post Malone ended the night with a high-energy performance. Afterward, he was seen carrying nachos and snapping pictures with fans.
The festival also featured late night performances, with local artists extending the party atmosphere until 2 a.m.
“I came all the way from D.C to attend this event,” said Jonah Vincent. “It was definitely worth the hype and I plan on coming to the fest from here on out.”
(For a full recap of the Mempho Music Festival, visit Memphofest.com.)