Atlanta’s Music Midtown festival in 2022 has been canceled because of Georgia gun laws.
Recently, it was announced that the festival had been canceled, stating only, “Due to circumstances beyond our control, Music Midtown will no longer be taking place this year. [However] we are looking forward to reuniting in September and hope we can get back to enjoying the festival together again soon.”
A number of bands, including Jack White, Future, My Chemical Romance, and Fall Out Boy, were scheduled to perform at the festival in September. In 2021, there were an estimated 50,000 attendees at Music Midtown.
The festival was canceled despite no official reason being given, but sources at the festival confirmed that gun laws in Georgia were to blame.
Throughout Georgia, guns are allowed in public spaces, including Piedmont Park, where Music Midtown has been held since 2011. Despite being a temporary park user, the festival does not have the right to alter that law and impose its own ban.
A journalist in Atlanta, George Chidi, first reported that Music Midtown might be canceled due to gun laws. In a tweet, he posted last Friday, July 29, “My understanding is that it is because Georgia’s gun laws make it impossible to bar firearms from Piedmont Park, a condition required by many artists’ concert riders.”
In May, Phillip Evans, who is a gun rights advocate from Georgia, informally challenged Music Midtown’s gun ban. As it turned out, Evans had actually lost a court battle against the Atlanta Botanical Garden over its right to ban guns on its grounds a month earlier.
Evans demanded the lifting of Music Midtown’s firearm ban but did not file a lawsuit. In addition, he allegedly sent written complaints to the festival’s security company and Live Nation about the incident.