Mempho Music Festival Dazzles Weekend Crowd with Big Name Artists

By interns Alex Myrick and Rachel Long

Just when the South thought music festivals came to an end with the start of school, Mempho Music Festival at Shelby Farms Park in Memphis rose from the ashes of festivals past to provide fans a breathtaking musical experience. Several interns spent Oct. 6-7 covering the event. Here are some of their reflections:

Janelle Monáe engages the crowd with her dynamic sound. Photo by Hal Sullivan.

Alex Myrick, senior IMC student and contributor

In the late hours of Sunday evening, as the rest of the country prepared for the upcoming Monday morning blues, Shelby Park Farms nestled in East Memphis prepared for the biggest and final act of Mempho Music Fest, Post Malone. A high capacity crowd was packed shoulder-to-shoulder in front of the stage an hour in advance to hear the rapper’s songs, which only built more energy through the night as he played early into Monday morning.

The last performance of the weekend by Post Malone served as the perfect curtain call for the rapidly growing music festival that enjoyed great crowds and even better music throughout the weekend. Before Malone stirred the thousands into a frenzy, the festival produced a steady stream of the music industry’s heavy hitters—Nas, Mac DeMarco, Beck, Rich The Kid, Juicy J, Phoenix and Janelle Monáe.

Phoenix crowd-surfed well into the crowd post-show. Photo by Hal Sullivan.

In addition to great music, Mempho Fest certainly did not fail to provide the full sensory overload of experiences and sights that have become synonymous with modern day music festivals that have attracted a die-hard following. The smells of delicious food accompanied the flashing lights and dancing colors that decorated the entire grounds, which also included a silent disco tent and metal cage featuring EDM and shooting flames that accompanied the rhythm.

Overall, the weekend appeared to be a smashing hit as all in attendance were grinning from ear to ear as they paraded out of the grounds early Monday morning, racing to reach the parking lot to escape before traffic ensued. 

Beck ended their “Colors” tour at the Mempho Music Festival Saturday, Oct. 6. Photo by Hal Sullivan.

Rachel Long, senior IMC student and contributor

The anxious crowd awaits singer/songwriter Janelle Monáe. Photo by Hal Sullivan.

This weekend the 2nd Annual Mempho Music Festival drew in large crowds for headliners such as Beck and Post Malone. In the crowd were wide-eyed children, excited teenagers, contemplative adults, and then me, an integrated marketing communications major from the University of Mississippi. As a fan of Post Malone specifically, I was excited about the opportunity to cover an event like this, but I was not fully aware of what the task entailed. I started off by taking casual pictures of some festival-goers in their overly sparkled hair and basketball jerseys. 

I had never been to a festival in any way like this before, and was not sure what to expect. The crowds were much thinner earlier in the afternoon and then filled out as the hours lessened before Post Malone made his stand on stage. I found that, as a journalist, the most I could do was take notes of my environment and pay attention to the detail of festival itself and the people attending. 

Nas resurged from his ’90s popularity to give an electric show to the Mempho crowd Sunday, Oct. 7. Photo by Alex Myrick.

I overheard one man say his wife dragged him to see Post Malone and begged him to purchase passes. Aside from him, I think most members of the crowd were exceptionally excited to be here. I will say for my first music festival the environment was very relaxed and chill—nothing like I had seen Coachella portrayed as. The ambiance was much more laid back, which was something that entices me to attend next year. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience and would definitely go again. I would trade the traffic leaving the festival, but overall the experience was amazing just like the artists. 

Post Malone captivated the Mempho crowd well into the early Monday morning hour. Photo by Alex Myrick.


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