ATLANTA — One of Atlanta’s most popular music festivals will now require attendees to be fully vaccinated or test negative for COVID-19.
Music Midtown announced the changes on their social media Wednesday night.
“For the safety of our patrons and our staff is our number one priority. As such, a full COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result will be required to attend Music Midtown 2021,” the festival said.
Music Midtown says it strongly encourages attendees to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
The last day to receive the second shot of Moderna or Pfizer or the Johnson & Johnson single dose is Friday, Sept. 3, which would be two weeks before the festival begins.
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Attendees who are not fully vaccinated will be required to have a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours of attending Music Midtown.
Attendees will be required each day to bring a printed copy of a vaccine card, vaccine record or their negative test results.
Music Midtown will require masks in any indoor spaces at Piedmont Park, including the VIP tents. The festival requests that unvaccinated individuals wear a mask at all times while at the festival.
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Music Midtown is scheduled for Sept. 18-20 at Piedmont Park. Maroon 5, Miley Cyrus, Jonas Brothers and 21 Savage are among the headliners. Megan Thee Stallion, Jack Harlow and Machine Gun Kelly are also featured among the festival’s 30+ artists and bands.
Channel 2′s Steve Gehlbach was at Piedmont Park, where he got mixed reactions to the news from music fans.
“I think having a negative COVID test or vaccine card doesn’t sound like a bad idea at all,” one music fan said. “I feel like that’s good.”
“I don’t agree with it. It’s an outside event,” King said. “People should be spaced out and people should be responsible for their own health.”
Local talent booker Mara Davis thinks more festivals should follow Music Midtown’s lead.
“By Music Midtown saying this, putting pressure on another festival, Shaky Knees, that’s going to be around, all signs are pointing to this is the new normal,” Davis said.
Davis did say she is sure it will not be without hiccups.
“People are going to fake vaccine cards,” Davis said. “It’s going to slow down the entry. I think you’re going to get pushback.”
Music Midtown is not the only festival that will require proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test.
Organizers of this year’s Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival announced last week the same requirements for the festival in Tennessee. The news followed a similar announcement by Milwaukee’s Summerfest, also set for September.
In Chicago, 380,000 fans packed into Lollapolooza over four days under the same requirements. According to Dr. Allison Arwady with the Chicago Department of Public Health, the concert was determined to not be a super-spreader event.
“We would have seen a surge if we were going to see a surge at this point,” Arwady said.
Numbers released two weeks after the concert showed only 203 COVID-19 cases linked to the festival, 75 unvaccinated and 127 unvaccinated breakthrough cases. No one was hospitalized or died.
The new COVID-19 safety requirements come as most states are seeing a surge in the delta variant.
As of Wednesday, the rolling 7-day average of new cases in Georgia is 3,633.9. The rolling 7-day average is 16% positive. Urgent cares across metro Atlanta are working hard to treat COVID-19 patients and keep them out of the hospital, but a surge in cases is leading to very crowded facilities and long waits.
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