Did you ever think we would make it to ROUND SIX of the Memphis Zombie Massacre, undead friends? Well, we’re here and this year’s event promises to be undeader than ever. Read on for this year’s official guide to all things MZM. If you have questions at the end of this post, leave a comment or shoot us an e-mail at email@example.com and we’ll do our best to clear things up.
It’s the Memphis Zombie Massacre, an annual spectacle of the undead variety in Downtown Memphis, Tenn. We’re first and foremost a public performance art project, but we use our numbers to do good for the community, too. This year we’re once again taking donations for the Mid-South Food Bank, a great organization that helps feed hungry people in the region. We’re taking non-perishable food items (no glass containers, please) as well as cash or check donations. Please click here for full details about the food drive.
MZM2012 is a rain or shine event!
WHEN AND WHERE
Friday, May 25. We step off from the corner of South Main and G.E. Patterson (at Ernestine & Hazel’s) at 6:30 p.m., so it’s best to get arrive early to have plenty of time to park or bike or take the trolley or walk or whatever. Remember, it’s also art trolley night, so parking in South Main will be at a premium.
Here’s a map of Downtown parking lots, some of which are pay lots and some of which are free. If you plan to park near the beginning of the route, there is usually lots of free street parking in the South Main area; you just have to be creative and look for it. Please refrain from parking in the asphalt lot adjacent to the farmers market pavilion, as that is a MATA lot and they were not happy with us for parking there last year. Also, don’t forget that you can park anywhere Downtown and take the trolley to South Main and GE Patterson.
Here’s the route map:
The staging area is in the same place as last year — in the grassy lot near Front and G.E. Patterson (near where the Memphis Farmers Market is every weekend). That’s where we’ll have makeup help available, and that’s where to bring your items to donate. Organizers will be in the area to take your donations and begin helping with makeup starting at 3:30 p.m. As in years past, we will be available to help zombify participants on a first-come, first-served basis. We hope to have an assembly line of makeup artists to help zombify the masses, but we unfortunately never have the time to zombify everyone who wants our help. So come early, or better yet come zombified! You can also bring your own supplies and zombify yourself and your friends in the staging area (just be sure to clean up after yourself). Or come marked to be devoured by the horde. See below for details on that.
Some notes about the route. THIS IS SORT OF NEW! This year we will again be going from South Main to Beale beginning at GE Patterson. We will again be pausing for a few minutes at Beale and Main to let the back of the horde catch up to the front so that we can invade Beale Street with the greatest impact. We ask for your patience! Please refrain from running up ahead of the throng.
The idea is to pause and re-stage and re-gather at the corner of Main and Beale in the grassy/park area there near the MLGW building at Main and Beale. Zombies, you’ll be looking for this fellow to lead the way:
You will also be on the lookout for organizers wearing these bright yellow shirts.
If we can pause at Beale and South Main for just a few minutes, it will allow the tail end of the horde to catch up to the front, and our invasion of Beale will look and feel as huge as it actually will be, since we’ll all be invading together rather than in small, segmented groups separated by traffic lights. Watch for cues from organizers and our friend on the Segway.
The walk ends officially at Fourth Street, so once you see the empty shell of the Plush Club (or whatever it was most recently called) across the street, you’ve reached the end of your mission and can mingle and go about your undead business.
We have plenty of zombie families that like to join us and we are happy to have them! All we ask is that you don’t subject your kid to something he or she isn’t going to be able to handle or that you’re not going to take the time to explain.
Every year someone asks about bringing real-looking weapons to the walk and every year we debate what to say because we do not want to be responsible for policing everyone in this way. OBVIOUSLY you should not bring real weapons of any kind. As for toy or stage weapons, the guideline is to use common sense and don’t get too carried away. If you are coming as a zombie fighter and you have weaponry that looks real, keep in mind that you have weaponry that looks real, so DO NOT PROVOKE anyone who isn’t clearly in on the joke. You do not want to incite the wrath of the Memphis Police or any random person packing heat on the Memphis streets. You just don’t.
As we mentioned above, we will be available to help zombify in the staging area marked on the map. We always have a TON of people line up for makeup jobs, and unfortunately our window of time (more than two hours) never allows for us to get to everyone who wants help. So please, if you can, come already made up. Or bring your own gear and help make yourself and others up on site. The best part of a zombie walk is seeing how crazy creative you can be with your own makeup and effects, so show us what you’ve got! Thank you in advance.
If you don’t want to come already zombified, you have the option of being devoured by the teeming masses. Here’s how you would achieve that:
Easy, right? Just come clearly marked with a duct-tape X (be sure to wear clothes you don’t mind messing up), and hang out along the route. The later in the route you pop up, the less likely you are to be zombified. This is simply because our (understandably) overzealous zombies tend to run out of their extra blood-n-gore rations early in the walk. So consider hanging out on the first leg of the walk to be zombified. Although, honestly, seeing some people get eaten on Beale Street would be pretty fine, too. So do whatever you want, just know your odds.
WHICH RAISES AN IMPORTANT POINT! We need lots of zombies to come armed with a bottle or two of fake blood they can hang on to and ration during the walk, so that our duct-taped friends can be sure to get in on the action. There are lots of ways to make your own blood, or you can buy it at any local costume/party retailer.
RULES AND GUIDELINES
We will be operating on a public assembly/parade permit issued by the City of Memphis. This means that we need to behave ourselves so that we can continue to come back every year without the kind of civic drama that has happened in some other cities.
So that means:
• No harassing or touching or spraying gore at bystanders who are not clearly marked to be part of the walk.
• No scaring children who clearly aren’t into it.
• No messing with property that isn’t yours. This means cars, store fronts, news stands, etc. Don’t damage stuff that’s not yours. And please don’t litter. Sure, we’re going to leave a trail of blood and gore but let’s not add trash to the mix.
• No blocking traffic. This is in some ways inevitable, but in the past we have been able to manage ourselves and abide, more or less, by the whims of the crosswalk lights, and everything has turned out swimmingly.
• No boozin’ it up during the walk. We know people do it anyway, but please be judicious and don’t get too crazed.
• No entering galleries or shops while all gored up. This is mostly a practical request; we don’t want a spate of businesses bitching about the kids who tracked blood in on their nice floors.
• Don’t break the law. You’re undead, but they will still throw your ass in jail.
There are tons of zombie makeup tutorials on YouTube. Take a look.
There’s still time to grab supplies in local stores. Try these places and leave a comment if you know of others:
• The Fun Shop
• Party City
• Mr. Lincoln’s
• Blow-N-Go (The Halloween Store/Trick-R-Treat)
FIND US ONLINE, PROMOTE US ONLINE
We are all over the internet. Find us:
• Facebook (the Facebook event page is here, so RSVP so we can know how many of you to expect!)
• Flickr (2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007)
• E-mail us at memphiszombies at gmail dot com if you have any questions
If nothing else, put your smartphone to work and follow us on Twitter for necessary updates the day of the walk.
We’ve got a variety of flyers you can download and print out and distribute at your favorite places around town.
Click here to get your hands (mice?) on that stuff.
Questions? Thoughts? Hit us up in the comments or shoot us an e-mail. But READ THIS STUFF FIRST. Yes, we know it’s long and wordy but it’s important and remember! Reading is FUN and also DAMENTAL.
And as always, thanks to all of you for making this event every ounce of awesome that it is.