The inaugural Grind City Fest: Brews, Blues and Bluegrass
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  • Mammoth Live
  • Barbian Management
  • Grind City Brewing Company
  • Winner of PRSA’s VOX Gold Award | Special Events: Two or More Days, $7,500 or More, 2022

On June 23, 2022, Wilson Public Relations, Mammoth Live, Nick Barbian of Barbian Management, and Grind City Brewing Company announced Grind City Fest, a new, two-day music festival celebrating Blues, Brews, and Bluegrass. 

The inaugural festival was held on August 26 and 27, 2022 at Grind City Brewing Company in Uptown Memphis, Tennessee. The promotion team, including Wilson Public Relations, had approximately two months to promote the festival on social media, broadcast media and local print media.

Scheduled performers included a mix of performances by national, regional, and local blues and bluegrass artists.


Wilson Public Relations completed primary research by gathering observations on what organizations should serve as partners of the event, based on their commitment to Memphis music and local tourism.

A robust media list was curated to reflect outreach in a variety of outlets, including print, broadcast (TV and radio), and digital. This encompassed both local and regional media.

In addition, Nick Barbian, Grind City Brewing Company, and Mammoth Live performed extensive research as it related to planning and hosting a festival featuring this genre of music in the area.

Our end-goals included:

  • Selling out early bird discounted two-day VIP packages

  • 1,000 followers on Instagram by the first day of the festival

  • A broadcast appearance showcasing one of the local performers

  • Securing on-site local media coverage

  • At least three ticket giveaways with brand/influencer partners

  • At least two radio interviews

  • Based on ticket sale trajectory and the late launch/festival organization timing, 500 attendees per day


Wilson Public Relations promoted Grind City Fest across a variety of channels, including the Grind City Fest website and social media accounts; partner websites and social media channels; print/digital, broadcast and radio outlets; and influencer marketing.

Wilson Public Relations drafted copy for and designed a festival landing page on the existing Grind City Brewing Company website to capture and share information about the line up, schedule, and FAQs.

On social media, specific implementation guidelines were set forth by channel. On Facebook, for example, we provided regular updates to followers, engaged local bloggers such as Choose901, I Love Memphis Blog, and We Are Memphis Music, featured artist spotlights, and showcased photos of the venue. On Instagram, we featured artist spotlights, photos of the venue and other downtown spaces, trivia related to music or beer, and event information.

Social media also provided the festival management team with the opportunity to receive real-time feedback from attendees on performers and run-of-show.

Partner organizations were contacted to help raise awareness about the new festival. Organizations were chosen based on their dedication to Memphis music and tourism. Wilson Public Relations provided these partners with suggested social media content, custom graphics/imagery, and the opportunity to post as collaborators on social media pages.

Media outreach played a key role in ticket sales. Coverage was secured on all four Memphis-based television stations, several music industry publications, and multiple print and digital publications.


At the close of the festival, more than 2,100 tickets were sold to the inaugural Grind City Festival. Nearly 50 media mentions were recorded during the promotional time period, with nearly half of those occurring in the three weeks leading up to the event.

We also:

  • Sold out early bird discounted two-day VIP packages (limited availability on day of announcement)
  • Surpassed 1,000 followers on Instagram by August 26 (the first day of the festival)
  • Secured a pre-event broadcast appearance on WREG Live at 9 showcasing Cyrena Wages, one of the local (Memphis-based) performers
  • Secured two on-site local media segments from WMC Channel 5 and FOX 13
  • Secured two ticket giveaways with influencer partners Choose901 and Hyatt Centric Beale Street
  • Secured three radio spots on stations WYXR, WEVL, and WKNO
  • Nearly tripled our goal of 500 attendees per day.

In fact, the event was such a success that its organizers confirmed there will be a 2023 Grind City Fest, with the date to be announced.