May 8, 2024 - Culture

Music Midtown canceled for 2024

Crowd at Music Midtown in 2023

Concert goers at the Music Midtown in 2023. Photo: Scott Legato/WireImage/Getty Images

Atlanta's flagship Music Midtown festival will not be held this year.

Why it matters: The annual outdoor concert series is one of metro Atlanta's largest cultural events and attracts local and regional crowds.

The latest: Music Midtown's website says after three decades of entertaining audiences, it's "going on hiatus this year."

  • "We encourage you to continue supporting live music in Atlanta and stay tuned here for future updates," the message says.

What they're saying: Courtney Smith, Midtown Neighbors Alliance board member, told Axios the festival brought a "powerful vibrancy" to its neighborhoods for decades.

  • "Our collaborative planning efforts with Music Midtown set a new standard for community-event partnership that has resulted in more harmony between large destination events and local impacted residents," she said.
  • "We are proud of this innovative model, and we look forward to working with the Live Nation team again if they return in future years."

Catch up quick: It's the third time in four years Music Midtown has been called off.

  • It was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic.
  • The festival was unexpectedly canceled again in 2022 over concerns organizers would be prohibited from banning guns in the public park, based on a judge's interpretation of Georgia's so-called "guns everywhere" law.

Flashback: In 1994, legendary Atlanta music promoter Alex Cooley launched the weekend festival smack in the middle of a Midtown neighborhood showing sprouts of today's skyscrapers.

  • Not long after the festival drew 200,000 concertgoers and outgrew the large field where bands played. (Today, it's the Federal Reserve of Atlanta).

The big picture: Over the years the festival faced increasing competition from upstarts like Shaky Knees, ONE Music, SweetWater 420 Fest, and more.

What we're watching: Whether Music Midtown will return for 2025.

Editor's note: This is a breaking news story. Check back for updates.

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