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VOL. 128 | NO. 42 | Friday, March 01, 2013

Memphis in May Touts 68-Act Music Fest Lineup

By Bill Dries

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The 37th edition of the Memphis In May International Festival’s Beale Street Music Festival features a 68-act lineup from Alice in Chains to ZZ Top.

The lineup of musical performers playing over three days from May 3 to May 5 was formally announced Thursday, Feb. 28, although much of the lineup had already been confirmed.

The performances across three stages, a blues tent and a small blues “shack” replica stage in Tom Lee Park feature 31 artists who are making their debut at the festival.

That includes Friday night headliner Alice in Chains, whose 2010 date at the festival was scrubbed because of bad weather.

Saturday headliner The Black Keys is also making their debut at the festival that began in the mid-1970s on a parking lot next to The Orpheum theater. The two other Saturday headliners are The Roots and ZZ Top.

The other Friday headliners are Hall and Oates and BassNectar, an electronic dance music act coming to Memphis as the festival expands into the genre with a new feature.

The Beale Street Music Festival will add a late-night feature on Saturday called “The Park After Dark” that features DJ Porter Robinson and his brand of electro-house.

The three Sunday headliners are Black Crowes, Flaming Lips and The Smashing Pumpkins, who are making their festival debut. The Crowes’ headlining sets at past Beale Street Music Festivals are a part of the event’s rich heritage.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame class represented on stage this year includes Patti Smith and Public Enemy, who is in the 2013 Hall of Fame class.

The hip-hop trio marked its 25th anniversary in late 2012 with two albums.

The lineup of Memphis or Memphis-connected artists includes Jerry Lee Lewis for what is becoming an annual festival event. Mavis Staples, Lucero, Star & Micey and Al Kapone are also part of a diverse Memphis contingent represented across the three days.

By decade, the lineup is heavy with big names from the 1990s, some touring behind new releases including The Wallflowers, Sheryl Crow, The Deftones and Cracker.

Austin blues guitarist and actor Gary Clark Jr. is back at the festival after a year of hard touring on the festival circuit as well as opening for the Rolling Stones in December and his major label debut in October.

Clark also announced in January that he and his management team will debut a Maverick Music Festival in San Antonio in March.

Clark was also featured on Crow’s 2010 album “100 Miles from Memphis,” which Crow is sure to reference during her set.

The 2013 Beale Street Music Festival is the second with the new terrain of Tom Lee Park that includes the Beale Street Landing building where the northernmost stage was once located.

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