Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Might Music Midtown be Making a Comeback?

While not my normal content, a rumor that Music Midtown might be resurrected this year definitely peaked my interest.

For readers unfamiliar, Music Midtown was a large outdoor 3-day concert that took place in Atlanta from 1994 til 2005. The concert was put on hiatus in 2006, with losses from inclement weather and expensive acts said at the time to be the main culprits. Originally set on land now home to the Federal Reserve Bank on Peachtree Street, it moved for a year to land near Ivan Allen Plaza downtown before moving once again to a number of land parcels around the Civic Center and North Avenue.

In peak years, the festival drew nearly 300,000 revelers to as many as seven stages, spanning many genres of music. Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, Tennessee at times competed for premier acts and attendees with Music Midtown, with both festivals usually scheduled in May or June.

Rumors have swirled that Coldplay, The Black Keys and Prince will headline a newer and smaller Music Midtown later this year. Set to take place September 23rd and 24th on two stages in Piedmont Park, no one has been willing to opening confirm this yet...

Today at noon, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Live Nation's Peter Conlon (co-founder of Music Midtown) will make what's being called a "Major Music Announcement," at the W Downtown. My thinking, and many others at this point, is that this announcement will be that Music Midtown back!. While this seems like the logical outcome, having such a significant announcement about a midtown attraction at a downtown hotel seems a bit odd.

What are your thoughts? Any especially vivid memories of past Music Midtown festivals?

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I would assume instead of Black Lips, it would be the Black Keys. The Black Lips are not big enough for a headline spot. Hope it turns out to be true.

Atlantan99 said...

Hey Anon,

Yes, you are correct, Keys rather than Lips.

Thanks for reading!

Jay said...

Was a big fan of the original Music Midtown, at least in its early days before it was overrun by people, particularly kids there for underage drinking. I distinctly remember going the first year and having easy, uncrowded access to any act. The original site was the best but time and development marches on.

One thing I find interesting is the move to the fall, particularly since the fledgling Midtown Arts Festival is already scheduled for the same weekend. Not that the MAF's scheduling wasn't already questionable given the Atlanta Arts Festival is the week before in Piedmont Park. That's another interesting item - Piedmont Park Conservancy's scheduling of events on consecutive weekends considering their past history on major events. Now they'll be allowing AAF Sept 17-18, followed by Music Midtown the next weekend, and then Pride a mere two weeks after that.

Anonymous said...

Music Midtown was only good the first 2 years.... after that it got so insanely crowded.... I still remember bringing a blanket the first year and seeing James close out Sunday night... A night I will never forget...

Mr MJL said...

To me this just smells like a Coldplay concert with a bunch of opening bands. In my mind a music festival involves multiple stages, multiple dates, and a diverse group of artists. This doesn't past my smell test. Why not just market it as a Coldplay concert in the park, like McCartney, Eagles, DMB all in years before.

TheJohnP said...

I enjoyed it when it started and found I was happier when it was over. I absolutely HATED that last venue they used. Trying to get between stages and forge your way through a throng of shirtless, sweaty drunk frat dudes put me off of MM forever. I know a lot of people looking to get wasted are going to be very happy to kind of listen to Coldplay.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know - is this taking the place of a Piedmont Park fundraiser concert (Eagles, Dave Mathews, Paul McCartney) like in the past few years?

Atlantan99 said...

@Anon,

Music Midtown is not really in lieu of the Green Concert but this year it seems it is not on the books. I've heard the Piedmont Park Conservancy is hoping to have their fundraiser concert back in the park next year.

Thanks for reading!

Sandy said...

very intrigued to see how the jump to fall will effect crowd size and demographics- spring was huge, but held a lot of the same crowd that is loyal to Saturday college football. Especially in Atlanta, this is a huge part of the crowd that loved the weekend long concerts in the spring...