Bristerfest bringing tunes, art, films to Cooper-Young

May is music season in Memphis, and one of the city’s up-and-coming events is making a new home in Cooper-Young May 9-11. The fourth annual Bristerfest, a “grassroots Memphis music and cultural festival,” will bring more than 60 musical acts, performing artists and a film festival to the old Lifelink Church building, now known as Cooper Walker Place, at 1015 S. Cooper.

The lineup features performances by local artists Dead Soldiers, Mighty Souls Brass Band, Spaceface, School of Rock Germantown, Artistik Approach, Tyke T and FreeWorld, Ghost Town Blues Band, Black Rock Revival, Agori Tribe, Preauxx and The Chinese Connection Dub Embassy on three stages.

Beyond the music Bristerfest will also feature Danza Azteca Quetzalcoatl, Cosmo Universal Art,

Randal Morton and Friends Bluegrass Pickin’ Party, DIY Shed Jam hosted by Juju Bushman and Julian Dossett, The Word hosted by Tonya Dyson, Artistik Lounge hosted by ESO and Siphne, a Sound Healing Meditation hosted by Tim Stanek, graffiti mural by Memphis Soul Collective and body painting by Akrylix. There will be Hula Hooping, fire dancing, aerial acrobatics, theater and poetry, plus vendors and food trucks will be on site.

Matt Martin of Cooper-Young’s Black Lodge Video will host a festival featuring local film makers.

Bristerfest founder Jack Simon and his group have been a presence in Cooper-Young for some time now, stain several events at Black Lodge Video and Midtown Market. Simon said the events began as a backyard music scene on Brister Street near the University of Memphis. The parties once thrown by college students grew and went public as Bristerfest in 2011.

Last fall, the group bean booking music events at Cooper Walker Place, a historic church at Cooper and Walker where Johnny Cash gave his first public performance.

“The location is conveniently located in the historic Cooper-Young community across the street from First Congo (church),” Simon said. “There is a family friendly and organic-conscious vibe in the area. Also, many can walk and bike to the festival.”

Bristerfest, which bills itself as “conscious and community centered,” will donate a portion of its proceeds to GrowMemphis, a local organization dedicated to building and supporting urban community gardens and ensuring that all Memphians have access to fresh, healthy food.

Tickets are $15 in advance for one day and $20 the day of the event. Three-day passes are $35 in advance.

A full line-up and tickets can be found at


Author: LampLighter

The voice of Cooper-Young, a vibrant, diverse neighborhood to live, work and play, in the heart of Midtown Memphis, Tennessee.

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