The full lineup is out for this year's Beale Street Music Festival, which takes place Friday, May 4th through Sunday, May 6th at Tom Lee Park.
Following last year's more contemporary bent, this year's festival skews young with probably the largest contingent of hip-hop artists ever (Wiz Khalifa, Pitbull, Lupe Fiasco, Childish Gambino, Big K.R.I.T., etc.).
Along with the festival's familiar blend of strong local, blues, jam-rock, and hard-rock acts, the 2012 lineup also showcases emerging stars in blues (Gary Clark Jr.) and folk (the Civil Wars).
Three-day passes for the festival are $75 and are available through April 22nd. Single-day advance tickets are $32.50 and are available through May 3rd. General admission will be $40. See MemphisinMay.org for more info.
Orion Stage: Evanescence, Megadeth, Three 6 Mafia, Volbeat
Early Read: Headbanger heaven in the form of ’80s metal heavyweights Megadeth, led by early Metallica member Dave Mustaine. And local legends Three 6 Mafia, who have been pretty quiet the last couple of years, make a return.
Horseshoe Casino Stage: Girl Talk, Lupe Fiasco, Sponge Cola, Breathe Carolina
Early Read: One-man party Girl Talk brings a new look to Music Fest with his hip-hop-fueled mash-ups, and gets a strong warm-up act in young Chicago rapper Lupe Fiasco.
FedEx Blues Tent: Johnny Winter, Bernard Allison, Will Tucker, Jimbo Mathus & the Tri-State Coalition
Early Read: A lineup that runs the gamut, from veteran blues-rock legend Johnny Winter to young Memphis up-and-comer Will Tucker.
Orion Stage: Pitbull, Yo Gotti, Cold War Kids, Buddy Guy, Kenny Wayne Shepherd
Early Read: Miami (Pitbull) meets Memphis (Yo Gotti) with hip-hop headliners, but come early: Once a young gun in the heyday of B.B. King and John Lee Hooker, Chicago blues genius Buddy Guy is now a living legend with plenty to give.
Horseshoe Casino Stage: Anthony Hamilton, Al Green, Dr. Dog, Black Lips, Big K.R.I.T.
Early Read: North Carolina-bred soul singer Anthony Hamilton isn't retro, he's just naturally old-fashioned, and his contemporary take on old-soul verities gets a perfect partner in Memphis legend Al Green. And the down home vibe continues down the bill with terrific Mississippi rapper Big K.R.I.T.
FedEx Blues Tent: Gary Clark Jr., The Bo Keys, Valerie June, Larry McCray, Robert “Wolfman” Belfour, Victor Wainwright
Early Read: Two of the genre's most exciting young artists are on display in the form of Texas electric guitar force Gary Clark Jr. and Memphis-connected acoustic marvel Valerie June.
Orion Stage: Primus, Herbie Hancock and His Band, Michael Franti & Spearhead, The Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Zoogma
Early Read: Different ideas of what “jam” might mean on display here, with jazz legend Herbie Hancock leading the way.
Horseshoe Casino Stage: Alison Krauss & Union Station Featuring Jerry Douglas, The Civil Wars, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Head and the Heart, Old 97’s
Early Read: A vibrant alt-country/roots lineup highlighted by young buzz bands The Civil Wars and the Head and the Heart.
FedEx Blues Tent: Robert Randolph & the Family Band, Charlie Musselwhite, Duke Robillard, The Nighthawks, Alexis P. Suter Band.
Early Read: A lineup headed by arguably the two modern masters of what are not everyday instruments — steel guitar (Robert Randolph) and harmonica (Charlie Musselwhite).