Fans, event planners blame Georgia gun laws over Music Midtown cancellation

ATLANTA — Music Midtown announced Monday that the weekend-long music festival has been canceled.

In a post on Facebook, Music Midtown said, “due to circumstances beyond our control, Music Midtown will no longer be taking place this year.”

Channel 2′s Dave Huddleston learned Monday that it appears a local man may be challenging public events that stop people from carrying weapons in public places.

Georgia passed a law in 2014 saying guns cannot be banned on public property, like Piedmont Park.

Music Midtown is one of the biggest music festivals in the southeast. Headliners for the festival had included My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy, Atlanta rapper Future and Jack White. Atlanta rapper 2 Chainz was also slated to perform.

The two-day concert was supposed to be Sept. 17-18.

Channel 2 Action News got exclusive details over what may have led to the cancellation.

We obtained an email from two independent sources that shows a Monroe County man told the city attorney on May 4, “First of all, I do not agree that purchasing a ticket is a surrender of my 2nd and 4th Amendment Rights. The second problem is that lawfully carried weapons cannot be banned in public parks.”

Even though organizers of the festival didn’t give a specific reason for its cancelation, some city and event planners say it’s because the festival couldn’t ban guns in the park.


“Under Georgia law, people have been allowed to carry at Music Midtown without being prohibited for 8 years at least,” said John Monroe, vice president of GA2A, a state gun rights organization.

Monroe told Huddleston that recent court challenges to Georgia’s 2014 law are being upheld. That law allows people to carry guns in public places like Piedmont Park.

“It’s been the law of for several years in Georgia if a private entity such as Live Nation, the promoter of Music Midtown, if they lease the property where they have the festival from a public entity like in this case, the city of Atlanta at Piedmont Park, they have to abide by the rules of pertaining to public property,” Monroe said.

“I do know a lot of the artist riders do have that in their contract. And a public place like this, if you can’t they won’t perform,” festivalgoer Trent Thurman said.

Huddleston tried contacting Music Midtown and Live Nation about why they canceled the festival. As of writing this article, he had not gotten a response.

The cancelation notice said those who bought tickets can get a full refund through the site where they purchased them.

Music Midtown started in 1994 and was held each year until 2005. After a six-year hiatus, it returned in 2011.

About 50,000 people attended last year, when Miley Cyrus, Jonas Brothers and Maroon 5 performed.


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