• Music Midtown damage lingers at Piedmont Park ahead of Atlanta Pride

    By: Carl Willis


    ATLANTA - More than a quarter of a million people are expected in Piedmont Park this weekend for Atlanta Pride.
    The park is still recovering from damage to the turf that occurred during Music Midtown.
    The outdoor music festival rocked Atlanta, but neighbors said it trampled the park.
    "I was almost in tears," said Midtown Resident Nancy Bowers.
    Doug Voss, the Director of the Atlanta Office of Parks told Channel 2's Carl Willis the weather during Music Midtown the worst case scenario.
    Torrential rain mixed with around 50,000 people resulted in mud pits throughout the park.
    The effects can still be seen just days before an estimated 250,000 people descend on the park.
    "People coming from all over the world to see Piedmont Park and this is what they're going to see," said Bowers. "That's embarrassing to me."
    Grid marks are visible in spots across the park showing where fresh sod was planted.
    However, there are still several areas in the meadow that will remain blocked off through Atlanta Pride.
    "It's pretty shocking to see," said Buck Cooke, the Director of Atlanta Pride Committee.
    Cooke said his crews have had to purchase additional flooring to lay over the grass, to make sure they're don't do any more damage to the meadow.
    "We want to make sure that everyone is following the same rules and processes and that we don't see damage like we saw ever again in the park," said Cooke.
    "I've talked to some other festival organizers who were concerned about the condition it was left in and how it impacts our event," he said.
    He also wants to make sure Pride doesn't impact the Atlanta AIDS Walk, which happens a week later.
    The largest gay pride event in the Southeast is moving forward -- but Cooke said there need to be dialogue.
    "I think we do need to look at how things work and how we can all work together," he said.
    "We like our festivals, but our park needs some rest," said Bowers.

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