$5 Beale Street security fee in effect for Memorial Day weekend, officials say

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Downtown Memphis Commission, Beale Street Management and City of Memphis announced a $5 security fee on Beale Street during Memorial Day weekend.

The fee is an effort to “create the safest possible experience for Downtown residents and visitors,” according to a release from Downtown Memphis.

The security fee will be in effect Friday, Saturday and Sunday beginning at 10 p.m. each night.

RELATED: MPD preps for Beale Street crowds for Memorial Day celebrations

“We want to prevent overcrowding along Beale Street,” said Paul Young, President and CEO of the Downtown Memphis Commission.

The Downtown Memphis Commission said the $5 fee is to “create the safest possible experience for downtown residents and visitors”.

“The more you charge, the less people who don’t want to pay, and that way we’ll have a better time out here,” said Vivan Allen who was visiting from Chicago.

The Downtown Commission said the fee helps limit crowds like the big one last weekend that ended with a chaotic moment and even sent one woman to the hospital after she said she was trampled by the crowd.

RELATED: Woman in hospital after getting trampled on Beale Street last weekend

“I’ve been down here before and I’ve seen stampedes happen and I think they should charge $10. That’s just my opinion,” said Allen.

The Memphis Police Department said they expect to see heavy traffic on Beale Street during the holiday weekend.

MPD said there will be an increased presence in the entertainment district plus extra lighting, fencing, and cameras.

“When you come here on Beale Street, you got more police walking around, not just sitting around, they’re moving,” said Arrico Kennedy, a tourist visiting from Alabama.

Police said the biggest issue will most likely be traffic and parking Saturday.