Voodoo Festival – birthed in 1999 as a small festival with even smaller crowds — has become one of the must-be-at festivals every year at Halloween.
The first Voodoo, put on by Rehage Entertainment, featured Third Eye Blind, Moby and Wyclef Jean at a one-day festival in Tad Gormley Stadium in City Park. It attracted about 20,000 people. The crowed tripled the next year, when the festival was moved to a grassy area of City Park, became a two-day festival and featured rapper Eminem.
The festival has grown almost every year since. It became a three-day festival in 2007, and was moved to City Park’s permanent new festival grounds in 2013. In 2016 the festival reported attendance of 150,000.
Voodoo has always featured a mix of rock, rap, electronic music and local artists including Dr. John and Kermit Ruffins. The festival has also featured carnival rides, a beer garden and a mock cemetery.
Rainy weather has occasionally left the festival, literally, in the muck. And in 2005, two months after Hurricane Katrina, the festival was put on in Memphis as a fundraiser for the city, while a free show was held Oct. 29 at Riverview Park for the city’s first responders.