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.