The Best Festivals and Fairs in Tennessee This Fall

The Best Festivals and Fairs in Tennessee This Fall

So deeply entrenched is music in its soul that Tennessee lays claim to having a remarkable seven official state songs. Little wonder that visitors depart singing the praises of this fascinating part of America. But there is far more to Tennessee than musical heritage, and this is evident in the array of festivals and fairs that take place here throughout the year. Below are 12 of the best taking place this Fall. READ MORE

What is the Moon River Music Festival

The Moon River Festival is a folk rock, americana music festival that takes place at the Levitt Shell amphitheater in Memphis, TN.  The two day-long event is hosted and curated by Memphis native and folk musician Drew Holcomb. Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors also take the stage as the headlining act, with acts such as Colony House, The Oh Hellos, and Penny & Sparrow supporting. Moon River Festival alums include Needtobreathe, Judah & The Lion, and Switchfoot. In addition to main stage attractions, the Choose 901 stage showcases some of the best of Memphis local talent.

In years past, Moon River took place in the dead heat of the Memphis summer, but has now been moved to the fall when Memphis weather is near perfect. There's no better way to enjoy the weather than with two days of good people, good music, and good fun.  Also brand new is a VIP event on Friday night in addition to the normal Saturday and Sunday festivities.

The festivities extend beyond music and into food as well. There are littered concession stands, on tap beer and alcohol vendors, other snack booths, and of course merchandise. In addition, there is an army of Memphis food trucks to appeal to any pallet. Taste of Tennessee serves up breakfast items, burgers, and smoked sausage. El Mero Taco truck cooks up fresh tacos and mexican fare. Of course, barbecue is served up in trucks such as Central BBQ, Pop's Smokehouse, and Kelvins on Wheels. Other trucks serve up everything from popsicles and snow cones to kababs and gourmet mac & cheese.  

The festival itself is a "thank you" to the city of Memphis; a tribute to the culture of the city. If Memphis truly is "a city with a soul" as Drew describes, then the Moon River Fest will give you the clearest picture of it.

Where is the Moon River Music Festival

The Moon River Music Festival is located at the Levitt Shell in Memphis, TN. 

1928 Poplar Ave.
Memphis, TN 38104

There is no better place for the Moon River Festival than in the legendary Levitt Shell at the heart of Memphis, TN. Formerly known as the Overton Park Shell, it was once one of many similar shells in cities such as St. Louis and Chicago. It is now one of the last remaining amphitheaters of its design. The open-air amphitheater was host to what many call "the first ever rock and roll show" when Elvis Presley hit the Overton Park Shell stage for his first paid performance. It has also been home to concerts by Allman Brothers, Isaac Hayes, and Jerry Lee Lewis. 

Long before The King himself took the stage, it was home to more theatrical performances and symphonies. The first concert given in the Shell consisted of classical music and ballet. That concert was free for the community; making the modern free concert series all the more appropriate. As tribute to the city itself, this concert series primarily focuses on local bands. In the past few decades it has become a restoration project. Drew Holcomb himself played a huge part in bringing restoration to the Shell in most recent years. 

The Levitt Shell is a perfect fit for the Moon River Music Festival; if only considering the Shell's and the city's honorably rich musical history. As a cultural tribute, the festival features many local and national folk rock and Americana musicians. Of course, no festival would be complete without food. Moon River serves up familiar and traditional Memphis dishes through varied food vendors, including food trucks, around the festival. 

Moon River encourages attendees to explore the local culture outside of Overton Park. Restaurants such as the French & Creole fusion place Iris and the burger joint Huey's Midtown are within walking distance of the festival grounds. Babalu Tacos & Tapas is the closest place for a Latin bite. Right next door is Memphis' local Bar Louie location. Nestled in between the two is Lafayette's Music Room; a great place for southern eats and even more live, local music. Across the street at the corner of Madison and N Cooper are local bars Boscos Squared and LOCAL On The Square. On the same corner is a ramen bar, Robata. Right down the road is Memphis Pizza Cafe that serves thin crust pizza and calzones.

The Moon River festival is, by all means, unapologetically in Memphis.

Moon River Music Fest returning to Memphis - WMC Action News


The Moon River Music Festival, presented by Memphis band Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors, is returning to Memphis for its second annual event.

The event will take place at Levitt Shell on August 15. The lineup, headlined by Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors, also includes NEEDTOBREATHE, Switchfoot, Colony House, Judah & the Lion, Stephen Kellogg, and local Memphis acts Myla Smith and Cereus Bright.


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Moon River Music Festival Set for Levitt Shell - Memphis Daily News

When Nashville-based singer-songwriter Drew Holcomb comes back to his hometown of Memphis in June, it will be to launch a music festival at the Levitt Shell.

Drew Holcomb and his band, including Rich Brinsfield, Ellie Holcomb and Nathan Dugger, are helping launch an all-day music festival in June at the Levitt Shell.

It’s something he says he’s wanted to do for a while now. The event is the one-day Moon River Music Festival on June 7 at the Shell, presented by Southern Sun AM. Holcomb, whose workman-like touring schedule over the years has included high-profile slots as the opener for The Avett Brothers, Ryan Adams and others, has handpicked acts for the festival, which also serves as a kind of thank-you to Memphis.


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Moon River Music Festival 2015

Nashville resident and Memphis native Drew Holcomb is back for a second year of Moon River Festival on Saturday, August 15. Mix equal parts ‘killer lineup’ and‘historical venue’, and you’re bound to have a good time. For another year at Levitt Shell in Overton Park, Drew and friends are bringing you an afternoon and evening of great music and our friends at Pyramid Vodka are helping fuel the party.

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Moon River Music Fest at the Levitt Shell - Memphis Flyer

This Saturday the Levitt Shell will host the Moon River Festival, a one-day only event featuring acts like Switchfoot, Drew Holcomb, and NEEDTOBREATHE. The festival has sold out of general admission tickets, but VIP tickets can be purchased for $75.00. Check out the complete schedule below, along with music videos from a few of the acts. Click here to purchase tickets. 


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Moon River Music Fest 2015 - Choose 901

Memphis native Drew Holcomb is bringing the Moon River Music Festival back to Memphis on August 15th at the Levitt Shell! Learn about Drew in our video here.