Beale Street preparing for New Year’s Eve | Events
New Year’s Eve on Beale Street is just days away, and that means welcoming 2013 with the biggest party of 2012. A symbolic 13 bands will take the stage in front of the Hard Rock Café at the corner of Beale and Rufus Thomas for a free concert that will begin at 5:00 p.m. and continue on into the New Year.
In addition to the outdoor countdown, there will be music and celebration in the clubs and restaurants that make up “The Best Three Blocks of Music in America.”
Just before midnight, Master of Ceremonies Kevin Kane will introduce Memphis guitarist Nathan Evans to perform an instrumental version of Auld Lang Syne. Then, the New Year’s Eve Guitar Drop ® at the Hard Rock Café will pace the countdown to 2013. An explosion of fireworks will mark the completion of the guitar’s descent and welcome in the New Year.
This New Year’s Eve has special meaning as it will “Celebrate 30 Years of Resurrecting the Blues.” The ribbon cutting for the rebirth of Beale Street took place in October 1982. Since that time, under the leadership of John Elkington, Beale Street has become a globally-renowned entertainment district. This year also celebrates the fifth anniversary of the New Year’s Eve Guitar Drop at the Hard Rock Café.
Blues artist Kitty Dearing will launch the cavalcade of stars, with Evolve Through Scars taking the stage just before midnight. Other performers will include Brutal Honesty, The Delta Project, So We Persist, Prosody, Barbara Blue, Mason Jar Fireflies, Craig Schuster, Jordan Allena, Low Society, Deadfall Road, and Dexter Haygood & the Playboy Killers.
New this year, between musical sets representatives of Memphis area charities will take the stage to highlight their successes in 2012 and to ask the revelers for their support in 2013.
The concert and Hard Rock Guitar Drop cap an exciting two days on Beale Street. Bands, cheerleaders, and coaches from Iowa State University and the University of Tulsa will highlight the Liberty Bowl Parade at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 30. Handy Park then will be the scene of the Liberty Bowl Pep Rally at 5:00 p.m. that day. At 7:00 p.m. the spotlight moves to the FedEx Forum where the University of Memphis Men’s Basketball Tigers will host Loyola of Maryland.