Today, Mempho Presents’ announced that ticket sales are now live at for the first annual 'SmokeSlam' BBQ Festival. The three-day festival, dubbed the ‘World’s Ultimate BBQ Showdown’, takes place Thursday, May 16 through Saturday, May 18, 2024, at Tom Lee Park and will play host to people from all over the country with activities for the whole family. In addition to the main event, the BBQ competition, fans can delight in generous samples of BBQ dishes and enjoy bites from other local food vendors. The BBQ competition will culminate in an awards ceremony Saturday evening hosted by Michelle Buteau, comedian, actress, and host of BBQ Showdown on Netflix.

In addition to witnessing nearly 60 teams compete for $250,000, the largest prize money in BBQ history, live concerts will be held each night. On Thursday, Mixtape features Tone Loc, Rob Base, Young MC, DJ M. Walk, and Mustache the Band, followed by Noisy Cats are We. The legendary band War headlines Friday and The Bar-Kays and Hope Clayburn's Soul Scrimmage will also be performing. Saturday night, St. Paul and The Broken Bones will be headlining in addition to a performance by SmokeSlam Players. Fireworks will close out the festival each night beginning around 10:15 pm. 

smoke slam

"In our first year, we are proud to host a capacity roster of 59 incredible teams that are champions in many different circuits. The competition will be fierce, and we have ensured that judging will be rigorous through our association with sanctioned bodies MBN and WFC. Our vision was to create an inclusive event, where every ticket felt like a VIP experience. SmokeSlam is where the BBQ enthusiast can mingle with festival-goers and go beyond the pits and smoke to a festival for the whole family, where shared passions transcend state lines,” said Melzie Wilson, SmokeSlam Organizer.

One-day general admission tickets are $24.99, and three-day general admission are $65. In addition to delectable bites throughout the day, tickets include access to the NBBQA BBQ Bazaar featuring a wide array of products from celebrity chefs as well as Q&As, products, and demos from Carey Bringle, Thyron Matthews, Ray Sheehan, Melissa Cookston and many others. The Smokeslam Market will include more retail options including products from local businesses like Memphis Flavor and other BBQ must-haves.

The B&B Charcoal: Live Fire Extravaganza will include demos and thousands of live fire samples showcasing the talents and culinary skills of BBQ professionals like Al Frugoni (Open Fire Cooking), Derek Wolf (Over the Fire Cooking), John Lindsey (All Q’ed Up), Mike Starr (Blazing Star BBQ), and Peg Leg Porkers.

“The spirit of competition and love of BBQ unites us all in the great city of Memphis, and we promise ticket holders will not leave hungry, but will leave positively overwhelmed by an experience they’ve never seen or heard before,” added Wilson.

VIP tickets are $240 for one day and $599 for all three days. VIP benefits include access to the VIP lounge with relaxed seating, private air-conditioned restrooms, an exclusive bar with premium cocktails, beer, and wine available for purchase, complimentary Wi-Fi in the lounges, complimentary water refill stations, dedicated concierge services, a dedicated VIP entrance at the main gate, a VIP area at BBQ demos, special guest appearances and activities, BBQ samples, and access to premium parking for an additional fee. Also, special BBQ treats from B&B Charcoal and famed Open Fire Pit Master, Al Frugoni, will be offered daily.

For those interested in an even more exclusive experience, the Pitmaster Pass is available as an add-on to VIP ticket holders for $125 per person (sold as a three-day pass only). Only 150 Pitmaster Passes will be available, and they are expected to sell out fast. Pass holders will have the opportunity to mix and mingle with select teams competing in the BBQ competition and meet celebrity chefs and pitmasters including Carey Bringle, Melissa Cookston, Myron Mixon,  TFTI, Jet Tila, 2023 Master Chef Junior Champion Rae Barker AKA Lil’ Gringa ™, and many more.  There will also be unique opportunities to view in-tent judging, enjoy competition samples at the team areas, watch the teams prep for their competitions, meet World Junior BBQ League participants who are competing for $25,000 in prizes, and learn more about the foundation from founder Melissa Cookston, and get an inside view of the intensity of the competition through walking tours of the Finals.

Additionally, VIP ticket holders will be able to participate in various discussions, including “MBN Judging,” “MBN Teams and Events,” “Being a Competition Pitmaster in Your Own Backyard,” and “WFC and BBQ Judging.” 

“Our VIP package sets the bar higher than any competition we’ve seen, offering unparalleled access to celebrity chefs and the best BBQ experience. With exclusive access and unrivaled indulgence, this is more than just an experience for your senses; it is one you’ll never forget,” says Wilson.

Buy Tickets

Get tickets for Smoke Slam at their website.


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