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VOL. 129 | NO. 172 | Thursday, September 04, 2014

$10 Beale Street Cover Charge Lifted

By Amos Maki

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If you want to go to Beale Street in the wee hours of Sunday morning, you’ll no longer have to pay a $10 fee.

The $10 cover charge to enter Beale Street after midnight on Saturdays has been lifted, but a tweaked version could reappear next year. 

(Daily News File/Lance Murphey)

Downtown Memphis Commission president Paul Morris said the temporary charge instituted in August following several dangerous incidents in the entertainment district has been lifted, but a tweaked version could reappear next year.

Morris said the fee, which was charged after midnight on Saturdays, worked as intended, thinning the large, sometimes unmanageable crowds that had built up in the district on Saturday nights in August.

“Both nights I was there, Beale Street wasn’t nearly as crowded as it had been but there were still a lot of people there,” said Morris.

The fee was used to pay for security patrols that the DMC, which is acting as temporary manager of the entertainment district, instituted on and around Beale Street during daylight and off-peak hours.

In the early morning hours of Aug. 10, a man was beaten unconscious on the street and laid there for some time while revelers took videos and pictures, which went viral once they hit social media networks. The weekend before that incident, Morris said, a “stampede” broke out on the street.

“Most people who come to Beale Street are having fun, but there are a few who come looking for trouble,” said Morris.

He said an alternate version of the fee, this time with a possible ticket or voucher patrons could use to get into a club or buy a drink, could return next year.

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