The Peabody's Rooftop Party Series Celebrates Summer Fun

Get ready to rock the rooftop!

By Sally Walker Davies,

The Peabody Memphis Hotel celebrates summer with their Peabody Rooftop Parties every Thursday from April through August, featuring live music from top local and regional entertainment acts and occasional national touring acts. 

The 2015 Peabody Rooftop Party season launches Thursday, April 16, with Memphis-based pop cover band Hollywood and a special performance by Grammy-winning dancehall reggae artist Shaggy, best known for his hit singles “Boombastic” and “It Wasn’t Me."

The food and drink menu changes weekly to reflect a theme; singer Shaggy's Jamaican roots have inspired a Caribbean-themed menu served alongside island libations for opening night.

As the summer sun sets over the Mississippi, The Peabody's rooftop party cranks up every Thursday night — Photo courtesy of Peabody Hotel

The Peabody parties happen each Thursday through mid-August from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., hosted by local radio DJs and the hotel's house DJ Mark Anderson. Weekly admission costs $10 to $15, and ladies and hotel guests get in for free before 7 p.m. Each week features a themed snack buffet and drink specials from Rooftop Party beverage sponsors.

VIP passes for the season are available at the door for $150; the passes include admission to all 18 parties and the Stella Artois VIP Lounge, with weekly event valet parking – a huge deal in itself.

VIPs will be treated to special food tastings from the highly talented Peabody chefs, as well as drink specials in the VIP Lounge. VIPs also receive swag like an official Peabody Rooftop Party T-shirt and a discount at the hotel's swank Chez Philippe and other restaurants.

A few times each season, a surprise musical guest pops up; rising stars including American Authors, Icona Pop, Hot Chelle Rae, Neon Trees, Carly Rae Jepsen, MKTO, Andy Grammar and Shinedown have made appearances in the last five years.

The tradition of parties on the roof of The Peabody Memphis began more than 75 years ago. In 1939, the hotel enclosed the east end of the hotel’s roof, creating the rooftop and adjoining Art Deco-styled Skyway ballroom.

Originally called "Sunset Serenades," the rooftop parties in the new supper club became a huge success, featuring performances by showbiz greats of the era, such as Tommy Dorsey, Glenn Miller, Chuck Foster, Lawrence Welk and the Andrews Sisters.

During the 1940s, the Skyway was one of just three national live radio broadcast sites for Big Band dances on CBS Radio. One such weekly program was hosted by a young Sam Phillips, from 1945 to 1950, before he launched Sun Records.

Admission to the parties is for ages 21 and up.

The entertainment line-up for the 2015 Peabody Rooftop Party season is as follows:

April 16: Hollywood, with a special performance by Shaggy

April 23: Walrus

April 30: The Brad Birkedahl Band, with a special performance by Cash Cash

May 7: Twin Soul, with a special performance by Andy Grammar

May 14: Ghost Town Blues Band

May 21: The Molly Ringwalds

May 28: Swingin’ Leroy

June 4: Frankie Hollie and The Noise

June 11: Seeing Red

June 18 to August 13: Artists to be announced