It Takes Soul…

It takes soul to find a rhythm that’s all your own, to give more than you take, and to change the world around you. It takes soul to be a Memphian.

Soul defined a new generation of sound. Soul transformed ideas into empires. Soul is going to give the world cures. Each of us gives a piece of ourselves to this city in whatever way we can, and that’s what makes up our collective soul.

Memphis has changed the world… and we’re not done yet! We are a city of doers, dreamers and believers. We create, we invent, we experiment. That’s what drives this unstoppable city.

Here along the mighty Mississippi, people and ideas mix here to do something magical and redefine the world around us. Now a new generation is taking its turn, hungry to make an impact and create change yet again.

Listen

Memphis is synonymous with music, and no discussion about this city would be complete without acknowledging the key role that music plays. After all, why do you think Memphis is mentioned in more songs than any other city on the planet?

Sure, you’ve heard about the giants who changed the way the world listens to music. Elvis, BB King, Otis Redding – these are household names in Memphis, but the legacy of sound they created is so much more, and it keeps evolving every day. It’s the traveling artists rolling through Memphis to take part in that legendary sound, the rich sound of instruments that come howling from a dive bar on any given Thursday night, and the gospel choirs that fill you up with hope on Sundays. It’s a tight-knit community of singers and songwriters, producers and promoters inventing and reinventing that authentic Memphis sound.

This is what attracts and inspires some of the biggest names in modern music, from Justin Timberlake to Bruno Mars. Beyond being something you listen to, Memphis music is something you experience, and it gets better and better every day.

Eat

Yes, we have THE best barbeque in the world, but it takes more than pulled pork sandwiches (served Memphis style with slaw on top) and rib meat that falls right off the bone to be named the “Best Food Town in America.” From our fusion food trucks to our James Beard Award-nominated chefs, Memphis brings flavor like few other cities can. Avocado paleta, ‘prozac’ cupcakes, ‘soul burgers’ and sno cones, Memphis food is funky, and these flavorful food experiments are what define our city’s taste buds. Next time you’re in these parts, why not drop by the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, the Best Memphis Burger Fest, the Rajun Cajun Crawfish Festival, the Memphis Food & Wine Festival or whatever else happens to be in town? We’re confident you won’t regret it.

Beyond the plate and savory bites in front of you, Memphis food has purpose. Our farm-to-fork initiatives have attracted restauranteurs like Kimbal Musk, and food education programs have been implemented in food deserts to teach our youth about agriculture and sustainability.

Memphis food is finger-licking good, and we celebrate it at any and every opportunity. Hot Wing Fest, the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, Burger Fest, Crawfish Fest, Food and Wine Fest, BreakFest – you name it, we made it, and we’re not done yet.

Play

Whatever the weather and no matter the day, there’s never a dull moment in Memphis, because Memphians know how to have a good time. Plus, when you’re home of world famous Beale Street and Paula & Raiford’s Disco, boredom is not an option.

Shelby Farms is one of the largest urban parks in the country (more than 5 times the size of Central Park) and is a hub for outdoor lovers. At 4,500 acres, Shelby Farms is a playground of horseback riding, suspended obstacle courses, cycling, running and more. Sports lovers can Grit n’ Grind with the Memphis Grizzlies, touchdown with the Tigers, and steal home base with the Red Birds.

Memphis boasts a fine arts experience unlike any other, showcasing diverse talent sure to thrill and entertain viewers. From productions at leading black repertory theatre, Hattiloo to modern shows from Ballet Memphis, legendary Stax Museum of American Soul Music to the National Ornamental Metal Museum, Memphis has a unique experience for everyone.

And don’t forget the shopping, kayaking on the river, libraries, and the nationally ranked Memphis Zoo (Pandas included). Looking for something to do? Check out downtownmemphis.com, Choose901, and Ilovememphisblog.com.

Create

Make no mistake, Memphians have a culture of food and fun, but we also know how to get down to business. Memphis has always been a hub for everything from commerce and logistics to artisans and creatives. Big ideas turned into even bigger businesses that remain headquartered here, from FedEx and AutoZone to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The result is a highly supportive, connected entrepreneurial network of doers and dreamers. That’s why Inc. ranked Memphis at the top of its opportunity index for entrepreneurs.

In Memphis, powerful corporations encourage and give back. From start-up incubators like Epicenter to biotech accelerators like BioTech, our inspiring community of makers and artisans to philanthropists supporting a cause, Memphis is the place where soulful inventions and ideas are scaled into reality to serve a purpose and make a difference.

Music

Music has been the soul of Memphis for generations, to the point that our city has actually changed the way the world views music. As a matter of fact, we’re confident you’ll recognize the passion, joy and energy with which Memphian residents and transplants perform whenever you see it—after all, you need look no further than Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and B.B. King, to name just a few local legends who tapped into the Memphis vibe and shook the world by creating new sounds in rock ‘n’ roll, jazz and more. Although Memphis continues to attract musicians and fans from across the globe who flock here for concerts and festivals, don’t think you need to buy a ticket to enjoy some tunes! On the contrary, music is found everywhere in Memphis, from the streets at night to church choirs on Sundays.

Art

In recent years, the Memphis art scene has been growing at an exponential rate, but our city’s creative spirit existed long before those bustling galleries opened their doors. Did you know Memphis is the home of color photography pioneer William Eggleston? To this day, Eggleston lives and works in Memphis, drawing upon more than half a century of experience to provide inspiration for photographers and fans of the medium around the world. Whether you aspire to be the next Eggleston or are drawn (no pun intended) to another form of art and design, Memphis arts will inspire you.

Business

Beyond being a hub of music and nightlife, Memphis serves as the headquarters to some of the biggest names in business, including FedEx and AutoZone. For those in the healthcare space, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is also based here, which in turn established our city’s strong reputation for R&D in the sector. If you’re an entrepreneur with big dreams, you’ll be delighted to learn that venture capitalists like Epicenter are a major part of the Memphis business community, working to incubate small businesses and shape them into the big-name brands of tomorrow. In fact, Memphis has been ranked among the best cities for startups, due in no small part to its vast array of professional networking opportunities.

While soul-healing music, world-class photography, delectable cuisine and a dynamic corporate landscape each compose a core part of the Memphis city culture, they are by no means the only things the Bluff City has to offer. Indeed, people from all over the world come to Memphis to enjoy the unique vibe of Beale Street, drink in the beauty of Shelby Farms and see the history of the nation up close at the National Civil Rights Museum—and that’s not even the half of it.

Bring Your Soul…

Memphians are a special group of people and we like our things unique- barbeque in an alley, dancing ducks in a lobby, and a pyramid in the skyline. If it stands out as different than the norm, there’s a good chance it’ll be welcome here. After all, it takes soul to find a rhythm that’s all your own.

Welcome to Memphis, our city of soul. Don’t forget to bring yours.