The South heats up with so many amazing events in May. Here are some of our top selections that are worth checking out. Whether you make a day trip or plan to spend a weekend, explore the South and its fantastic springtime events.
April 29 – May 1, 2016: Beale Street Music Festival — Memphis, TN
Kicking off the entire Memphis in May celebration is a three-day music festival featuring over 65 big-name stars and local musical acts performing on 4 stages and one tent in Tom Lee Park. Performers include headliner Neil Young & Promise of The Real, Meghan Trainor, Indigo Girls, Mavis Staples and Lunchmoney Lewis. You can find the full lineup of acts and purchcase tickets: memphisinmay.org/
May 1 – October 30, 2016: Chihuly in the Garden — Atlanta, GA
Atlanta Botanical Garden (ABG) once again celebrates world-renowned artist Dale Chihuly with the encore exhibition of his astounding works of art and unbelievable manipulation of glass. The Chihuly in the Garden revival coincides with ABG’s 40th anniversary, and two of the installations are completely unique to the Atlanta exhibit. Visit during the day or at night when the installations are illuminated in neon — admission prices vary so check the site before you head out. atlantabg.org
Through June 1, 2016: A Million Blooms — Richmond, VA
Richmond’s Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is alive with beauty and … a million blooms through the month of May. The display, which began in March, has offered stunning displays of roses, daffodils, peonies and more. In May, specifically, visitors can expect to see peonies, iris, azaleas and pitcher plants. Learn more and plan your visit by visiting lewisginter.org.
May 5: The Avett Brothers with Brandi Carlile — Tuscaloosa, AL
Embrace your inner hipster and don your best thrift store duds when you head out to hear the Southern fusion sounds of the Avett Brothers with special guest Brandi Carlile when they take the stage of the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater. Spend a beautiful, star-filled night set to the soundtrack of the True Sadness tour to kick off the month. Tickets range from $39.50 to $44.50. tuscaloosaamphitheater.com
May 7, 2016: Kentucky Derby 142 — Louisville, KY
The first Saturday in May is sacred in Kentucky, and the Kentucky Derby is an experience like no other. Don’t miss a chance to be a part of the action, and be sure to wear your best frock and hat. Check out all the articles on our site to catch you up to speed on what to wear and how to do Derby right. For tickets, click here: www.kentuckyderby.com
May 7, 2016: Bernadette Peters — Charlotte, NC
Enjoy an evening with the fabulous Bernadette Peters as she takes to the stage at Charlotte’s Belk Theater. For two amazing hours, one lucky audience will get to indulge in the sweet sounds of Ms. Peters as she puts the finishing touches on the Charlotte Symphony’s Pops season with Broadway hits and pop tunes. Tickets range from $40.50 to $84.50. Learn more here: charlottesymphony.org
May 13 – 14, 2016: Atlanta Funk Fest Presented by Pepsi — Atlanta, GA
Take a trip to Funkytown at the Atlanta Funk Fest! This two-day event features some of your favorite performing artists from back in the day and now, including Snoop Dogg, T-Pain, SWV, TLC, Naughty by Nature, Master P and many more. The fun(k) happens at Central Park, near Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward neighborhood, but check the website to get the specific performance schedule for each day, ticket prices and other details. atlanta.funkfesttour.com
May 13 – 15, 2016: Digital Graffiti —Alys Beach, FL
Alys Beach has plenty of bare canvas in the way of white walls, and during Digital Graffiti, artists of all kinds will project their original works of art on those canvases in this not-to-be-missed three-day festival. Digital artists, photographers, filmmakers, celebrities and art lovers, among others, descend upon this beautiful beach town to take in the unusual — and stunning — sites only found at this annual event. Find a complete schedule, ticket pricing and more at the website. digitalgraffiti.com
May 13 – 15, 2016: ADAC 33rd Annual Sample Sale — Atlanta, GA
If your goal in life is to find a great deal, you’ll hit the motherlode with ADAC’s annual sample sale. For three days, get awesome savings on designer brand, high-end furniture, lighting, accessories and rugs from designers like Peacock Alley, Logan Gardens, Baker and many more. This monster sale is open to the public so be ready to hustle. The sale happens Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visit ADAC’s site for directions and details. adacatlanta.com
May 14, 2016: Iroquois Steeplechase — Nashville, TN
Each year on the second Saturday in May, thousands flock to Nashville’s Percy Warner Park for the Iroquois Steeplechase. This spring racing event is a favorite among locals and Music City visitors. Gather a group and purchase tickets to the tailgating area, which is as popular as watching the horse races! Dust off your hats and pray for sunshine this year. Ticket options include: box seats, tailgating, general admission, tents and skybox suites at varying price points. iroquoissteeplechase.org
May 16 – 22, 2016: Wild West Comedy Festival — Nashville, TN
Get ready for a belly full of laughs as the Wild West Comedy Festival returns to Nashville. In its third year, the festival brings Jeff Foxworthy, Joe Rogan, Maria Bamford, Russel Peters, Joe Carbonaro, Miranda Sings, Trevor Noah, Kevin Smith, and the Fighter & the Kid Live — with many more to be announced. The festival’s events will take place at several venues and clubs around town. For schedule and ticket information, click here: wildwestcomedyfestival.com
May 20 – 22: Hangout Music Fest — Gulf Shores, AL
Arguably one of the best summer music festival lineups of 2016, Hangout Music Fest is back in Gulf Shores for another weekend of amazing music. Don’t forget your shades for this weekend on the beach, featuring a packed list of top-notch acts including Florence and the Machine, The Weeknd, Lenny Kravitz and Ellie Goulding, just to name a few. Children 17 and younger must be accompanied by an adult of 21 years or older for admission. A weekend wristband costs $289 and VIP and Super VIP options are also available. lineup.hangoutmusicfest.com
May 21, 2016: Nashville Wine & Food Festival — Nashville, TN
As part of this one-day festival held in Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park, attendees celebrate wine with dish pairings from local chefs. In addition, there will be live music and educational opportunities. We are excited to try creations by chefs from some of our favorite local restaurants. General admission tickets are $79 and VIP tickets are $129. thenashvillewineandfoodfestival.com
May 26 – 30, 2016: Abbey Road on the River — Louisville, KY
It’s hard to believe it’s not really The Beatles performing live when you attend Abbey Road on the River every year in Louisville. This is the world’s largest Beatles-inspired tribute festival and is held at Belvedere Festival Park and Muhammad Ali Center. Come see more than 50 bands over Memorial Day weekend from May 26 to May 30. For this year’s lineup and ticket information, visit www.arotr.com.
May 28 – 29, 2016: Decatur Arts Festival — Decatur, GA
Decatur knows how to throw a festival and this pedestrian-friendly city does it up right when it comes to May’s Arts Festival. Besides the lovely art, food and music at this free event, some other highlights include the Theater and Literary Arts Tent, the Comedy Tent and dance performances and one-hour classes at nearby Decatur Recreation Center. Check the website for the specific days and times of the various events. decaturartsfestival.com
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