MDN: Moon River Music Festival Returns to Memphis
Long before Nashville singer-songwriter Drew Holcomb decided to launch his Moon River Music Festival in Memphis, he’d been thinking for years about creating a festival that had the warm vibe of a family reunion for the bands and fans.
He accomplished that in 2014 with the launch of the annual festival – which returns to the Levitt Shell next week for the third time. He also wanted to do something more with the festival, which now stretches across two days – with a VIP option on a third night – to squeeze in more bands.
If you’re going to put together a festival, especially one with a bit of homespun, friendly charm, it’s probably easier if you do that in a place that, well, feels like home. And Memphis is very much that to Holcomb, who was born here and for whom the city still represents a significant influence.
“Growing up in Memphis I had kind of a chip on my shoulder about the way Memphis is perceived inside and outside the town,” Holcomb said in advance of the festival, set for Oct. 7-9 that will present close to 20 acts. “I want people to come to Memphis and experience it and realize they had total misconceptions about it. That it’s an awesome city, it’s got lots of culture, great parks, great people and great restaurants. It’s a city that’s always getting better.”
Holcomb hand-picks acts for the festival, which this time around includes The Oh Hellos, Colony House, the Stax Music Academy and more. Single-day tickets start at $45 for general admission, $70 for two-day general admission tickets and $250 for a three-day VIP package that includes an opening VIP event on Oct. 7.
The main festival runs Oct. 8 and 9.
Signal Flow PR principal Elizabeth Cawein, who represented a client that played the festival in its first year, says it’s only a matter of time before Moon River becomes a staple on the regional calendar. And she describes the festival as “one more great reason that Memphis continues to be a destination for incredible music.”
This year is the first it will span two days. And Holcomb expects it to draw a similarly expansive crowd from around the country – last year, for example, he estimates 24 states were represented at the event.