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Atlanta music festival is back


August 01, 2017

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Over three decades ago, Atlanta concert promoters Alex Cooley and Peter Conlen formed a partnership dedicated to making Atlanta a top destination for musicians. In the 60s and 70s Cooley brought artists such as Janis Joplin and the Sex Pistols to the south for the first time making him Georgia’s most successful music promoter. Together Cooley and Conlen were responsible for bringing a diverse range of musicians to Atlanta venues, including Frank Sinatra and country artist Jimmy Buffett.

In 1994 they co-founded a music festival called Music Midtown to bring both popular and up-and-coming artists to Georgia’s capital. That first year brought 60+ musicians including James Brown and Al Green and the festival grew exponentially for a decade, drawing more than 100,000 per day at the height of its popularity.

In 2005, tragedy struck the festival with a powerful tropical storm necessitating the temporary closure of the grounds. The lack of attendance meant that major sponsors pulled their support, making 2005 Music Midtown’s final year. In 2011, the festival was back, with Piedmont Park as the venue for headliners Coldplay and The Black Keys.

Last year’s festival brought such pop and alternative heavy-hitters as Lucius, Kesha, The Lumineers and James Bay before crowds of more than 100,000 according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle. This year’s lineup is just as impressive with Bruno Mars, Mumford & Sons and Future among the headliners.

More than two dozen artists will take the stage at Piedmont Park on September 16 and 17. A general admission ticket providing admission for both days of the festival costs $135 plus fees. This may sound a little steep, but a single ticket to see Bruno Mars in concert costs nearly $100 on its own, so an opportunity to see so many high-profile performances for so low a price is not to be missed.

There is no parking at Piedmont Park during the event and the festival organizers suggest riding MARTA or walking, though many attendees take advantage of ridesharing programs like Uber and Lyft. In past years, two artists perform every hour with more well-known groups filling the evening slots. Dress for the heat, but remember to bring a rain jacket and a Ziplock bag to waterproof your valuables in the event of a pop-up shower. Festival wristbands, your “ticket,” allow festival-goers to leave and re-enter Piedmont Park, however various food options including local fare and gluten-free options are available inside the park.

For more information or to purchase tickets visit www.musicmidtown.com.


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