Music fest, barbecue contest in Memphis are rescheduled

In this March 13, 2017, file photo, visitors get ready to tour Graceland in Memphis, Tenn. (AP)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Tourism officials in Memphis, Tennessee, say the Beale Street Music Festival and the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest have been rescheduled for the fall after they were postponed by the new coronavirus outbreak.

Memphis in May officials said in a statement Saturday that the barbecue cooking competition has been reset for Sept. 30 through Oct. 3. The music festival will now be held Oct. 16 through Oct. 18.

Both events are the cornerstones of the city’s monthlong tourist event in May. They attract music fans and barbecue cooking teams from around the world.

The Lumineers, Three 6 Mafia, The Avett Brothers, Lil Wayne and The Smashing Pumpkins were among the musical acts scheduled to perform at the music festival before the cancellation. It was not immediately clear if the performers who were set to appear on the original dates in May will be part of the lineup in September.

The Great American River Run also had been postponed. It has been reset for Oct. 31.

This Mississippi River city relies heavily on tourism revenue from Memphis in May. Organizers said earlier this month that they had been instructed by city officials that the events could not be held as originally scheduled.

Meanwhile, Elvis Presley’s Graceland said it is extending its closure through April 19. The Memphis tourist attraction is centered on the life and career of the late rock n’ roll icon. It annually attracts about 500,000 visitors, including international travelers.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and those with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death