On Friday, June 14 through Sunday, June 16, the 31st Annual Juneteenth Douglass Freedom & Heritage Festival will take place at Douglass Park, 1616 Ash Street.

The festival will feature an array of activities throughout the weekend including performances by the African Jazz Ensemble and National Jookin League, exhibitions, food vendors, educational workshops, and more. The Mobile Shell stage will be onsite on Saturday and Sunday.

Friday, June 14th, 11a-5p is YOUTH DAY. This day of celebration will completely focus on our youth! All performers will be youth performers, all vendors will be youth vendors, even the HOST & DJ will be our youth!
Saturday, June 15th & Sunday, June 16th have NEW HOURS, 3PM -8 PM and will feature the Mobile Shell. We are so excited to finally have this stage come to Juneteenth Douglass and it will be our Juneteenth stage from now on.  
Our SATURDAY STAGE will feature National Jookin League and Marcus.901.
Our SUNDAY STAGE will feature Ekpe Abioto to give libations to honor our fathers for Father’s Day, our ancestors for paving the way, and our communities that keep us grounded!

Since 1993, Douglass Park has played host to the Juneteenth Douglass Freedom and Heritage Festival, honoring the emancipation of enslaved African Americans through activations and impactful programming.

“We believe in the transformative power of the arts,” said Shelby Smith, Marketing & Communications Manager at the Overton Park Shell. “Our goal is to break down barriers and build bridges, bringing captivating experiences directly to the heart of communities. Partnering with the Juneteenth Douglass Heritage & Freedom Festival allows us to honor a pivotal moment in history while celebrating the richness of artistic expression.”

For more information, email JuneteenthDouglass@gmail.com ,call (901) 691-1044 or for a full schedule of events including speakers and performances, visit the Juneteenth Douglass Freedom and Heritage Festival’s official Facebook Page.

For more Shell on Wheels dates, visit https://overtonparkshell.org/shellonwheels.


The Overton Park Shell was built in 1936 by the City of Memphis and the Works Progress Administration (WPA). The Shell was designed by architect Max Furbringer and built for $11,935. Furbringer modeled it after similar bandshells in Chicago, New York, and St. Louis. The Overton Park Shell is one of a handful of the original 27 bandshells built by the WPA that is still standing.

During the 1930s and 1940s, the Shell was the site of the memorable Memphis Open Air Theater (MOAT) orchestra performances, light opera and musicals. In 1947 the Memphis Federation of Musicians launched its Music under the Stars series, free to the public. On July 30, 1954 Elvis Presley took the stage before headliner Slim Whitman. Elvis stole the show in what music historians call the first-ever rock and roll show. And it happened at the Shell in Overton Park.

Over the years, there have been numerous efforts, some to revitalize the Shell, and some to destroy it. In 2005, the Shell partnered with the City of Memphis and the Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation to renovate the Shell, and present 50 free concerts every year. It was renamed Levitt Shell at Overton Park, and renovation followed in 2007. It opened again with free music for all on September 4, 2008.

In 2022, The Overton Park Shell honored its historic past, returning to its roots and its original name with a focus on local support and self-sustainment while staying true to the mission of building community by providing easily accessible entertainment to all.

For more information, please visit www.overtonparkshell.org.