Backbeat Tours Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to purchase my tour tickets in advance?
How far in advance should I purchase my tickets?
Advance purchases are highly recommended, as many tours do sell out. If you have not purchased your ticket in advance, please call us at (901) 527-9415 before heading for the tour to make sure that we have availability. To arrange a hotel pick-up for Graceland, you must purchase your ticket no later than 9pm the evening before the tour.
I am on the road and unable to print out my ticket. What should I do?
Obviously, the earlier the better. We try to schedule enough tours so that most tours won't sell out more than a day or two in advance, but some tours do sell out earlier than that.
Relax and enjoy your vacation. If you purchased your ticket through Backbeat Tours or Zerve, your reservation is available to us through an automated system under your name. If you purchased your ticket through another vendor, give us a call at (901) 527-9415 just to make sure that we have received notice of your reservation from that vendor.
If I make a reservation with you, can I get a refund if I am unable to attend or late?
Many of our tours sell out, so we are unable to give refunds for cancellations or for late-arriving customers. We may be able to reschedule you to another tour with enough advance notice, though. If you know you will not be able to make your tour and your tour is more than 24 hours away, give us a call at (901) 527-9415 and we'll do the best we can!
If the tour is sold out, can I get on a waiting list?
We don't keep a waiting list. The Mojo Tour and the Extended Mojo Tour go out on the same bus at the same time, so if you can't find tickets for one, check to see if tickets are available for the other. If they are, you can call us at (901) 527-9415, and we can arrange for tickets for the tour you want. For all other tours (the Discovery, the Ghost Tours, and the Historic Memphis Walking Tour), you're best bet is to see if you can find another date or time that works for you. If you can't find another tour and you really want to take your chances, you can come to at our ticket window on Second and Beale Streets 15 minutes before the tour start time in the hopes that some reserved passengers won't show up. Keep in mind that it's rare that we have more than two or three no shows for our bus tours. No shows happen more frequently on our walking tours, so there is a better chance that we can make room for you on those tours.
Do you offer military discounts?
Yes, all military personnel qualify for $2 off our regular adult prices (for themselves and adult family members). Children of military qualify for our usual child's price. Book the "Reduced" or "Senior" Ticket at zerve,com. You must show your military ID card when you come to the ticket window.
Do you offer AAA discounts?
At this time we do not have discounts for AAA members
Do you offer Elvis Insiders’ Club discounts?
Yes, Elvis Insiders can get 10% off any tour. You must show your membership ID at the ticket window prior to the tour.
Do you offer any other discounts for your tours?
Can I combine discounts?
Purchase full price tickets for two different tours and get 10% off both tours. Not valid for a second ticket on the same tour; you must buy tickets for two different tours. Promo Code: MULTI
Show your Elvis Insiders card and get 10% off any tour. Promo Code: TCB
For additional Specials, please follow us on Facebook
No. One discount per person, please.
Is there parking nearby?
How can we find you on GPS?
There are four different parking garages close by: on the northwest and southeast corners of Peabody Place and Second Street (one block north from our location); on Second Street just south of Beale Street behind BB King's Blues Club (half a block from our location); and at Peabody Place and Third Street (two blocks from our location).
There's also an open air public lot across Beale Street from the Orpheum Theater; the entrance to the lot is from Peabody Place.
You can try your luck with on-street metered parking, too, on Second Street just south of Beale; on Beale between Front and Second; or Peabody Place between Front and Second.
You can find us at 143 Beale Street: 35.14004 -90053218 / N35° 8.4026', W090° 3.1931', to be precise.
Will you pick me up from my hotel?
It depends on the tour. For the Graceland Tour, we offer pick-ups from the Sheraton Memphis Downtown, the Peabody Hotel, and the Courtyard by Marriott. We do not offer pick-ups for any of our other public tours. Pick-ups can be arranged for any private (group) tour.
What makes Backbeat Tours better than its competitors?
Backbeat Tours is the highest rated bus tour company in Memphis. We pride ourselves on having the best tour guides in the city, the most unique buses, and outstanding customer service. Unlike our competitors, we see ourselves as an entertainment company, not a bus company, and we want to make your visit to Memphis perfect. Bill Patton, the owner of Backbeat Tours, wrote the book on Memphis history, A Guide to Historic Downtown Memphis. He spends months researching our tours, talking to the folks who were actually there, and training our guides on music and history. And, unlike our competitors, we have no hidden charges. Check carefully in comparing prices. See if admissions and transportation are included, and watch out for additional fuel surcharges! We play it straight with our ticket price. If gas prices go up, we bear the burden, not you.
For your bus tours, do you stay on the bus or do you get to get out anywhere?
The following tours include guided visits of attractions: Graceland (Graceland); Extended Mojo Tour (Sun Studio); Memphis Discovery (Rock 'n' Soul Museum). On the Memphis Discovery Tour, we also see the Peabody Duck Walk, stop and get out at the Lorraine Motel to see the balcony where Dr. Martin Luther King was shot, stop at Central BBQ to taste some BBQ pork, and have a short shopping stop at Lansky's. The Memphis Mojo Tour is entirely on the bus (it's so much fun, you won't want to get off), but there are photo stops at major attractions.
Do you ever cancel tours on account of weather?
We only cancel bus tours if it is dangerous to drive, which, in Memphis, is very rare. We occasionally cancel walking tours when there is a serious rain event (but not for light rain). We do our best to contact our walking tour customers when there is a high chance of a downpour that could cause the tour to be cancelled. However, we aren't always able to reach all of our customers, so please call us at (901) 527-9415 if you expect inclement weather for a tour you've booked.
If I’m running late, can you hold the tour for me?
No, we're sorry, but our other customers get angry at us if we hold a tour for latecomers. Please try to be at our ticket window at least 15 minutes before your tour (or your pick-up stop at least 10 minutes before your scheduled pick-up time). If you're driving to our ticket location and don't know your way around Memphis, make sure you give yourself plenty of extra time and always allow an extra 15 minutes to find parking. We don't want you to miss all the fun!
What bus will the tour be on?
Is your bus air-conditioned/heated?
We have two red and yellow buses that are styled to look like vintage buses, but offer all the modern conveniences. You'll have a great ride on either bus!
Is the bus handicapped accessible?
The bus does not have a wheelchair lift, but if you have a collapsible wheelchair and have some mobility, we should have no problem accommodating you. Our drivers and guides will be happy to assist you in getting on and off the bus. Please make a note in your booking or contact us at (901) 527-9415 to let us know what you need.
Are their restrooms on the bus?
There are no restrooms on the bus. There are restrooms at our ticket window and at the attractions we stop at on the Extended ("Big') Mojo Tour and the Discovery Tour.
Do you have assigned seating?
No. All of our seats are excellent. The guide's seat is higher than the rest of the seats, so you can see him or her from anywhere in the bus. If you need a special seat or early seating for physical reasons, please make a note when you book your tour or let us know when you arrive at the ticket window, and we will do our best to accommodate you.
Can I bring food or drinks on the bus?
Yep, you can bring food and alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages on board. No ice chests, please, without prior approval. (We frequently don't have room for ice chests.) If your group would like to bring an ice chest on the bus, please call us at (901) 527-9415.
Can I bring my dog or cat on the bus?
Heck yes! We love animals. If the bus isn't too crowded and our other passengers don't object, well-mannered dogs or cats are welcome. Just keep your pet on a leash and in your control at all times. We find that the motion of the bus and the sound of the guide's voice makes most animals restful pretty quickly. Ask at the ticket window or call (901) 527-9415 for approval.
Is there any way to know who my tour guide will be?
Should I tip my tour guide?
We schedule guides for our tours a week in advance. If there is a specific guide that you hope to get, you can call us at (901) 527-9415 or email us at email@example.com
to find out what tours that guide will be leading. Keep in mind that our guides get sick and have personal crises like everyone else, so we can't ever guarantee a particular guide for a tour.
If you enjoyed the trip, then by all means, yes! Our tour guides very much appreciate tips, not just because they need the money (who doesn't?), but because it lets them know that you had a good time (they're very sensitive about this.) The standard tip for a tour guide is 10-20% of the ticket price, depending on how much you enjoyed your tour. If you need cash for a tip, ask for change at our ticket window or ask your tour guide. We'll even run the tip through on your credit card if you don't have cash.
Do you offer step-on guide service?
How large of a group do I need to book a private tour?
Yes. Both our music guides and our non-music guides are available on a step-on basis.
We don't have a specific minimum. We can sometimes arrange a walking tour at reasonable prices for a group as small as eight. We also offer discounts to groups of 10 or more who wish to join any of our public walking or bus tours. Private bus tours for groups of less than 15 tend to be fairly expensive on a per person basis.
How large of a group can you accommodate?
Can I charter your buses? What are the rates?
For transportation only, we can accommodate very large groups up to 1,000. We can accommodate up to 200 people at once on guided bus tours, and up to 100 at once on guided walking tours. If your group is larger than that, we may be able to work with you to stagger the starting times and accommodate more folks. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
or (901) 527-9415 for more information.
Yes. Contact us at email@example.com
or at (901) 527-9415 for rates and information. Please provide the date and approximate time you would need the bus and the pick-up and destination locations. The hourly rate ranges from $100 to $140 per hour depending on the amount of time you will be using the bus for. The minimum time for a bus charter is 3 hours. Additional charges apply for pick-ups more than 10 miles from downtown Memphis and on Saturdays.
Which tour is "the Backbeat Tour"?
Backbeat Tours is the name of our whole company; the individual tours we offer each have their own names. We don't have a tour specifically called "the Backbeat Tour;" when people refer to this, they are usually referring to the Memphis Mojo or the Extended ("Big") Mojo Tour. These were our first tours and they are still the tours that we are most well-known for. This unique tour has been featured in magazines, newspapers, and on national television.
Which tours have live music?
The Memphis Mojo Tour, the Extended ("Big") Mojo Tour and the Hound Dog Tour feature live music on the bus.
What’s the difference between the Mojo/Extended Mojo and the Discovery Tour?
The Memphis Mojo Tour is a fun and entertaining bus ride focusing on the history of Memphis music (with various other bits of Memphis history as well). It's great for those who want a quick overview of Memphis, an interesting journey into the history and happenings of Memphis music, or are just looking for something fun and different to do. The Extended Mojo Tour gives you all the fun of the Mojo Tour, and also includes a guided tour of Sun Studio. The Memphis Discovery Tour focuses more on the general history of Memphis and has more opportunities for visiting attractions. It's great for folks who want to sample everything that Memphis has to offer in a short period of time or who are primarily interested in the historic side of Memphis.
What’s the difference between the Memphis Discovery Tour and the Historic Memphis Walking Tour?
The Discovery Tour is a bus tour; the Historic Memphis Walking Tour is entirely on foot. The Historic Memphis Walking Tour has more in-depth history and a closer view of downtown sights; the Discovery Tour visits a wider array of sights.
Does it make sense to take both the Mojo Tour and the Memphis Discovery Tour?
Yes. The Mojo Tour gives you a great introduction to Memphis music, as well as a guided tour of Sun Studio, if you choose to take the Extended Mojo. You can follow-up with the Memphis Discovery Tour to discover the historic side of the city and visit additional attractions. There is very little overlap between the two tours.
What are the best tours for children and teenagers?
All of our tours are family friendly. Children love our Memphis Mojo Tour. The live music on the bus, as well as the tambourines, shakers, and bongos we pass out on the tour are guaranteed to entertain children and bring out the child in you! The Mojo Tour isn't just for kids, though; the guides are extremely knowledgeable and the entertainment is first class, as good as any music you can hear on Beale Street. For those interested in the Extended ("Big") Mojo, please be aware that children under 3 are not permitted on the Sun Studio Tour. Older children and teenagers also enjoy the spooky stories of the Memphis Walking Ghost Tour and the Dark Side of Memphis Tour.
Which tours are best for those with limited mobility?
Our Mojo Tour is ideal for those with limited mobility as it is an all bus tour, so the only walking you'll do is to and from the bus. For those considering our Extended ("Big") Mojo Tour, please be aware that there is a one-story climb up narrow steps to access the studio. The Graceland Tour is also a good option, as Graceland is very wheelchair accessible.
Do you get off the bus on the Memphis Mojo Tour to tour the sights?
No. The Mojo Tour is designed to give visitors a fun and interesting overview of the city and its sights in a short period of time. Along the way, we'll keep you thoroughly entertained with music and stories. If we've done our job right, you won't want to get off the bus! For those who want the Mojo Tour experience, but also want to tour an attraction, we offer our Extended Mojo Tour, which includes a guided tour of Sun Studio.
How does the Mojo Tour compare to city tours offered by other companies?
Well, of course, the Mojo Tour is very different from other city tours because of the live music on the bus. But there are many other differences as well. Most city tours offered by other companies only cover the downtown area. While there is much to see in the downtown area of Memphis, you miss out on many other beautiful and interesting areas of the city. The Mojo Tour covers the downtown area, but also travels to other important areas, such as Overton Park, Central Gardens, and Soulsville. The most important difference, though, is in the level of narration on the tour. The Mojo Tour is a detailed journey through the ins and outs of Memphis music and Memphis history. We're not just reading from a script; we're telling you about folks and events that we're passionate about. That is why the Mojo Tour is the highest rated bus tour in the city at tripadvisor.com.
Will we be able to take photos during the Memphis Mojo Tour?
Yes. The tour stops at significant sights for long enough for you to take photos.
Is the cost of Sun Studio admission included in the price of the Extended (“Big”) Mojo Tour?
Do I have to sing on the tour?
Of course not. Just sit back and enjoy the tour. We think you'll want to sing, but that's up to you. Singing along - or playing the tambourine or shaker - is kind of like going to a football game and doing the wave. It's not the main reason why you're there, but it's fun, isn't it?
How much walking is involved on the Memphis Discovery Tour?
All walks during the Memphis Discovery Tour are less than a block.
Will we get off the bus during the Memphis Discovery Tour?
Yes, the tour has off-bus stops at the Lorraine Motel, the Rock 'n' Soul Museum, Central BBQ, the Peabody Hotel, and Lansky's.
What “extras” are included in the price of the Discovery Tour? Are there any additional charges that I may have to incur on the tour?
The cost of admission to the Rock 'n' Soul Museum and BBQ tasting at Central BBQ are included in the tour price. The only additional charges that you may incur are for soft drinks or beer at Central BBQ (if you choose) or souvenirs along the way.
Is there live music on the Discovery Tour?
No. The Memphis Mojo Tour, the Extended ("Big") Mojo Tour and the Hound Dog Tour are the only tours we offer with live music on the bus.
Can I play a tambourine or shaker on the Discovery Tour?
Yes, the tambourines and shakers are always on the bus, so you're welcome to pick one up and play it. You'll have to accompany yourself, though; the Discovery Tour guides are history buffs, not musicians or singers.
How does the Discovery Tour compare to city tours of Memphis offered by other companies?
All of our tours are completely unique, and the Discovery Tour is no exception. We design each tour to be more than just a drive around town with random stops. We want our tours to immerse you into the heart and soul of the city. On our competitor's city tours, you stop at an Information Center to see statues; we spend that time walking through the plaza of the Lorraine Motel to see the balcony where Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated. On our competitors' tours, you spend 45 minutes driving on an unattractive highway to get an obstructed partial view of Graceland through high gates. We use that time to let you experience the many great exhibits at the Rock 'n' Soul Museum. (We offer a complete tour of Graceland in the morning, which is a perfect combination with the afternoon Discovery Tour.) On top of all that, you get to taste some great Memphis BBQ, shop for "cat" clothes and souvenirs and hear a truly fascinating history of our fair city. How can you beat that?