Cooper Young Festival Spooky Edition: Festival Announces New 2020 Date (Cancelled)

Posted by Holly Whitfield | July 16th 2020 2477 0

Update, July 16, 2020: The 2020 Cooper Young Festival is cancelled. Next Year’s event will be held on September 11, 2021.

From the press released provided by CY Business Association:

The Cooper Young Business Association Board of Directors has voted to cancel the 33rd year of our Evolve Bank & Trust Cooper Young Festival.  We are disappointed that we are not able to host our beloved Festival on October 31, 2020 as we had moved it back from the normal September date at the recommendations of City officials earlier this Spring.  The health and safety of our Festival community and Memphis residents is and has always been paramount to us.

The Evolve Bank & Trust Cooper Young Festival brings in artists from all over the United States as well as over 130,000 attendees to celebrate our neighborhood’s history, diversity, art and music.  The Board’s difficult decision to cancel the event was due to recent continuing spikes of positive virus cases not only in Memphis but around the country.  As large events are being canceled globally, we also do not want to jeopardize the health of our Festival community consisting of residents, volunteers, long-time sponsors, food vendors, musicians, attendees and our beloved Cooper Young business owners and staff.

We would like to thank these businesses for their unending support of our Historic District.  They are Evolve Bank & Trust, Commercial Appeal, CW30, Memphis Grizzlies, Horseshoe Casino and Hotel Tunica, Puma Air Compressors, Memphis Animal Clinic, Mold Terminator, Ounce of Hope, Epicenter, ProShow Systems, Rock 102.7, 101.9 Kiss FM, News Radio 600 WREC, Delta Ice Services, Bath Fitter, Choose 901, Leaf Filter and Toof American Digital Printing.

We will truly miss seeing everyone and hope to have you with us on Saturday, September 11, 2021 for a large Festival celebration of renewed global health and prosperity.   Until then, please take care and support local.  Small Memphis businesses need your support now more than ever.

The 33rd annual Cooper Young Festival will be held on Halloween for 2020. Normally the one-day event is held in mid-September, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s festival is postponed.

The Evolve Bank & Trust Cooper Young Festival will be on Saturday, October 31, 2020 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the Cooper Young neighborhood. Fun fact: The first CY Fest in 1988 was actually on Halloween. Throwback!

Photo by Alex Shansky

Festival organizers said “we are looking forward to everyone dressing up in their masks and costumes to celebrate in big ghoul style!” which says to me that costumes—including masks—will be allowed. What do y’all think about that?

Cooper Young Festival 2020 Fast Facts:

  • The event was postponed from September 19 to October 31 in 2020 due to “covid-19 uncertainties”.
  • Information on any coronavirus precautions and procedures for the festival are TBA.
  • The event is free and family-friendly.
  • Parking and other attendance info will be available closer to the date of the festival.
  • Vendor applications will go online on Saturday, August 1 at midnight and booths are for sale on a first-come, first-serve basis. Visit cooperyoungfestival.com for more information.
  • Cooper Young Festival is Memphis’ largest single day event, attracting tens of thousands of people and several hundred vendors of arts, crafts, gifts, food, drinks, and entertainment.

There will be a kickoff party on Thursday, October at Epicenter Memphis to celebrate this year’s poster art and poster artist John McIntire. I’m looking into the Cooper Young 4-Miler race, which hasn’t yet announced if they will be rescheduling this year.

Memphis In…October?

Memphis in May’s World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest is rescheduled for September 30 – October 3, 2020; Beale Street Music Festival is rescheduled for October 16-18, and the Great American River Run is rescheduled to October 24. Now, Cooper Young Fest (unaffiliated with Memphis in May) is the following weekend.

With Memphis In May’s three main events moving to the fall and now Cooper Young fest capping off October…is October the new May in Memphis?!

There are also Tigers football home games on October 16th and 24th. Now, keep in mind that all of this could change (and potentially should change) depending on how the pandemic goes** and concerns for safety and health. This is just what we are going with right now.

I’ll keep you updated as more Cooper Young Festival 2020 information for Memphis becomes available.

*What? A phrase I never thought I’d write…

Photo by Alex Shansky

Show Comments


  1. Emily AdAms says:

    Terrible idea. I’d rather rest up for adult parties than be run over by strollers and teenagers

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