Music Midtown canceled

Charlotte Parker, Contributing Writer

Music Midtown is a music festival that has been taking place in Piedmont Park in Atlanta, Georgia since 1994. This year, the event was meant to take place on September 17-18th, featuring names like Mitski, Jack White, Fall Out Boy, Conan Gray, My Chemical Romance, Alec Benjamin and more but on August 1st, it was canceled.

Music Midtown announced across their platforms, “due to circumstances beyond our control, Music Midtown will no longer be taking place this year.” 

The new constitutional carry law in Georgia has made it legal for citizens of Georgia to carry concealed weapons without a license. Music Midtown is held on public property and despite their best efforts, they were unable to restrict bringing guns onto the premises.  

Safety issues are already a concern at festivals such as Music Midtown. Approximately fifty thousand people attended in 2021 and the festival being unable to restrict the presence of firearms could only increase the potential for dangerous situations. 

“You know, I really enjoy festivals and I’ve always liked Music Midtown,” said Madison Smith, a junior mass communications student who has attended Music Midtown three times. “I also agree with the cancellation. I personally don’t like the idea of going to a festival where guns are around so I understand. If I were to know that before buying a ticket, I probably wouldn’t have.”

Other students share the sentiment. 

“In my opinion,” said Chad Helton, a junior political science major, “Music Midtown was doing what they thought they needed to do to keep people safe, especially with all the mass shootings that are happening in America. Plus, on the concert side of it, you know, they’re already super overcrowded. Like, people are already passing out and you can’t get to them. Now imagine trying to get out or help when there’s an active gunman.”

On top of the disappointment expressed by the festival and the many eager festivalgoers, the cancellation has a negative impact on Atlanta’s economy. Music Midtown brought about fifty million dollars annually to the state of Georgia and that revenue will now be lost or moved elsewhere. The South Carolina governor has already stepped up to offer to host the festival. 

Christopher Clark, an economics professor, discussed the economic impact on the cancellation. 

“The fifty-million-dollar revenue Music Midtown brings to Georgia isn’t just tickets,” said Clark, “it’s also about the hotels and the restaurants nearby. People who want to rent out their apartments can’t do that, people who would come in won’t be shopping and buying trinkets. It’s all trickle-down.” 

The loss in revenue will only truly be felt by Atlanta residents. GC students with family in the Piedmont Park area may hear complaints and anyone who didn’t capitalize on the opportunity to refund the ticket will mourn.

“Ultimately, the worst thing about it for GC students is one less opportunity,” Clark said.