Friday, April 18, 2014

Bristerfest 2014 Brings Live Music, Film, and Food

Posted By on Fri, Apr 18, 2014 at 3:15 PM


A week after popular artists from around the world perform at the Beale Street Music Festival, Memphians will have a chance to witness local music sensations at the fourth annual Bristerfest.

Everything from rap, rock, reggae, bluegrass, funk, and other genres will fill the eardrums of attendees during the three-day festival. It will take place May 9th through the 11th at Cooper Walker Place (1015 Cooper St.) in the Cooper-Young District.

Jack Simon, founder of Brister Street Productions and the brains behind Bristerfest, said there would be three stages for the event — two inside of Cooper Walker Place and one in the venue’s parking lot.

“We’ll have activities and entertainment on each stage the entire time,” Simon said. “Maybe you don’t like the band on the outside stage. Well, go inside, and there are two other bands performing.”

The massive line-up of artists performing during the three-day festival includes Dead Soldiers, FreeWorld, Ghost Town Blues Band, Spaceface, Tyke T, Chinese Connection Dub Embassy, Preauxx, and Mason Jar Fireflies.

There will also be a film festival presented by Black Lodge Video, live art, food trucks, local craft beer, yoga, poetry, and more activities throughout the weekend.

Proceeds raised from Bristerfest will benefit GrowMemphis, a local non-profit that creates gardens in urban communities and promotes food sustainability. This will be the third year that donations are made to the organization. Thus far, more than $4,000 has been given to GrowMemphis as a result of Bristerfest.

“For each individual, health is important,” Simon said. “We want to keep that health-conscious attitude rolling through Memphis. With things like the food deserts, it’s great to be able to somehow help that with whatever we can do. It might not solve the problem, but if we can change the lives of a few people, that’s a success.”

Since 2011, more than 1,200 people have attended the diverse, family-friendly event, which brings attention to local and regional talent. And Simon anticipates this year being the biggest festival yet.

“The first year was a backyard party at the Levitt Shell with close friends. It was nine bands, one day,” Simon reminisced. “Since then, we’ve promoted far and wide. It’s good to see it grow. This year will be our first year doing three days, three stages, adding the film festival, and 70-plus performing artists. I’m thankful for the support. If people didn’t care about it and support it, there wouldn’t be a festival.”

A one-day pass for the event is $15. A three-day pass is $35. To find out more information about the festival and/or purchase tickets, visit

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