Transportation, traffic plans released ahead of BSMF

Published: Apr. 27, 2022 at 5:58 PM CDT

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Memphis Police are telling the tens of thousands of people heading to Midtown Memphis this weekend for the Beale Street Music Festival to pack their patience.

Police said to expect traffic delays around Liberty Park and parking spaces to be limited.

Memphis Police say they are expecting 60,000-70,000 people to come to Liberty Park over the weekend for Beale Street Music festival. Police will be there for security and traffic control.

Memphis Police and Liberty Park officials laid out exactly where some drivers can find parking spots within walking distance of Liberty Park. There are seven designated parking lots near Liberty Park.

Those lots are:

  • The red, tan and ADA lots at the Liberty Bowl
  • The old coca cola factory on South Hollywood
  • Tobey Park
  • Shelby County Board of Education
  • A city lot at 2540 Avery
  • Christian Brothers University
  • Maxine Smith STEAM Academy

Expect to pay $20-$30 a day for a spot on those lots.

“People should be patient. There are a lot of moving parts, we’re in a residential area,” Liberty Park General Manager Thomas Carrier said.

But those lots only hold 4,000 parking spots.

Carrier said nearby businesses may provide other parking options resulting in a few more hundred spots.

But a rapid shuttle from MATA will transport people from Downtown and near the University of Memphis to the festival site. MATA says 5,000 people have signed up for those shuttles.

“We have been preparing for months right along side the Memphis in May committee,” said MATA Chief of Staff Bacarra Mauldin. “We are ready to rise to the occasion and be a partner in this endeavor.”

Pick up locations for MATA shuttles downtown will be Second and Exchange Street and the Union Avenue side of the Peabody Hotel.

Buses will drop riders off at the festival grounds near will-call... and on Early Maxwell and Southern.

“We do plan to offer 10 minute headways or 10 minutes between pickups,” said Mauldin. “Forty-five minute ride to the downtown area to the Liberty Bowl area.”>

MATA expects 15 to 20 buses on the road running continuously to get festival goers to and from Liberty Park. Each of those buses seats 40 people.

“Between that, the park and ride opportunity at the university of Memphis, and the shuttle we anticipate pretty much getting everybody into the area,” Carrier said.

Police said there will be no road closures but drivers should be aware of signals and directions officers doing traffic control.

“No road closures at this time but there are protected areas for pedestrian crossings and those load and unload spots for citizens on those MATA buses,” Memphis Police Colonel Keith Watson said.

The deadline to register for MATA shuttles has passed, but they will accommodate riders who may need a lift. MATA says riders need to have their registration information on hand to ride.

MATA will also be extending trolley service hours this weekend.

For more on BSMF logistics click here.

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