This weekend will see the return of Music Midtown. This festival was canceled last year due to a permitting issue with speculation focused on a new gun law interpretation via a court ruling. When it got canceled, I was dead inside for a few weeks as the cancelation could have had an impact on all festivals in Atlanta moving forward. However, after about six months we started to see festivals come back to Atlanta, particularly with Shaky Knees, and all woes dissolved when Music Midtown announced its return. I’ve been attending Music Midtown since it came back in 2011. While it has shifted considerably from its more indie tendencies early on, it has my heart as it was the first festival I’ve ever attended. This weekend, it will be the 44th festival I’ve been to (with Imagine the Friday of Music Midtown being my 43rd).
Photo by Terence Rushin Photography
This year the festival is broken up into three days, with the first day being Friday with Pink, Pitbull, JID, and others taking over Piedmont Park. This extra day is appreciated by fans of the festival due to the skip year last year. It also means that Midtown will be popping with activity all weekend. One of the cool things about Music Midtown is being able to re-enter the festival and explore the surrounding area of Midtown Atlanta, an area hailed as a gay mecca with nightlife aplenty. I mention this because September is Atlanta Pride Month when all of Midtown turns into a party every weekend, especially during Music Midtown. Every year I go, all of the surrounding bars are brimming with folks when the festival ends. If you are heading to the festival this weekend, consider checking out any of the surrounding spots. I highly recommend giving Woody’s Cheesesteaks a try or Mellow Mushroom if you are out of town. Both are walkable from Piedmont Park.
Another pro tip for anyone traveling using MARTA, Atlanta’s train system. Make sure you check your routes for when you leave the festival. MARTA will sometimes close lines after certain hours of the night and limit trains. The MARTA website has up-to-date times for all trains. It would be unfortunate if you had to take an Uber or Lyft from a MARTA station to your house or car because you didn’t check the train schedule. Additionally, there are a few MARTA stations that have free parking that are located towards the outside of the city. Parking by Piedmont Park can be upwards of $30 for Music Midtown weekend with road closures adding to the headache of leaving. MARTA will run you around $5 for a round-trip to the festival and back.
I hope to see y’all at Music Midtown this weekend! Tickets are still available for purchase on the Music Midtown website. I’ve heard there is a discount this week for $99 tickets. Definitely would be something to search for. Let’s all make it a weekend to remember!