Things to do in Memphis during March Madness: Music, comedy and more

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For hoops fans visiting Memphis, there will be plenty of non-sports entertainment to enjoy when you’re not cheering on your team at FedExForum.

With NCAA Tournament games scheduled for March 22nd and 24th at the Downtown Arena, you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy some of the best entertainment options in Memphis.

Here are six shows—concert, comedy, and more—that are worth checking out. All are downtown or nearby.

DJ Alpha Whiskey: March 21, Central Station

DJ Alpha Whiskey is a DJ and aviator whose passion for mixing and making people fall in love with music started at a young age. She has played for the Memphis Grizzlies, Jack Daniels Whiskey Tennessee, and more. On March 21, DJ Alpha Whiskey will be on the decks at Central Station’s Eight & Sand (545 S. Main St.) at 7 p.m. No cover. Details: centralstation.com.

Joe Fernandez: March 22, Hi-Tone Café

Joe Fernandez is one of Chicago’s funniest comedians and a favorite at the old Memphis Comedy Festival. He will return to the Bluff City for a one-night show at the Hi-Tone (282 N. Cleveland) on March 22. A bill hosted by Charlie Vergos will also feature a variety of local acts. Doors open at 8pm Tickets: $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Details: Hitonecafe.com.

RIVERBEAT MUSIC FESTIVAL LINEUP: Jelly Roll, Fugees and Killer Mike among the performers

Vinyl Happy Hour with Shangri-La DJs: March 22, Memphis Listening Lab

One of the Bluff City’s truly unique amenities, the Memphis Listening Lab, will host a special event, Vinyl Happy Hour featuring music by Shangri-La DJs on March 22nd. The crew from Memphis’ famous record store will be spinning tunes from 3-5pm at the Listening Lab (1350 Concourse Ave., Suite 269). This event is free. Details: Memphislisteninglab.org.

Kurt Vile & the Violators: March 22, Minglewood Hall

Philly indie rock favorite Kurt Weill comes to Minglewood Hall (1555 Madison Ave.) in Midtown, headlining a concert supported by his band The Violators on March 22. Vile recently released the ‘Back to Moon Beach’ EP, the follow-up to his 2022 full-length Watch My Moves. Tickets: $43; go to Ticketmaster.com.

Emily Barker: March 23, The Green Room at Crosstown Arts

Australian singer-songwriter Emily Barker is no stranger to Memphis. In 2016, Baker recorded her album Sweet Kind of Blue with Grammy-winning Memphis producer Matt Ross-Spang at Phillips Studio. After 21 years living in the UK – where he rose to fame with his theme music to Wallander, the hugely successful BBC crime drama starring Kenneth Branagh – Barker has returned to Australia but will come to the US for a series of shows around the annual musical SXSW conference in Austin. Barker will perform an intimate concert on March 23 in the Green Room at Crosstown Arts (1350 Concourse Ave., #280). Tickets: $20; go to Crosstownarts.org.

Country Wayne: March 24, Orpheus

Country comedian Wayne (aka Wayne Coley) brings his “The King of Hearts” tour to the Orpheum downtown (203 S. Main St.) on March 24. The entertainer, who has grown from his online roots over the past decade, is now on tour performing to sold-out crowds across the country. In addition to his stage work, Wayne co-hosts “I Love Us,” a BET+ comedy show alongside Kym Whitley, and also recently starred in the feature film “Strange Love” and the Peacock Original Movie “Praise This.” Tickets: $38.50-$78.50; go to Ticketmaster.com.

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