The cancellation of Atlanta’s long-standing Music Midtown festival has prompted a lot of speculation and few concrete answers. Early reports suggest the event, which was set to feature My Chemical Romance, Future, Jack White, Fall Out Boy and others, was scrapped because of a 2019 legal ruling that prevented Live Nation from banning guns inside Piedmont Park, where the event is held. But Live Nation has yet to confirm its reason for canceling, and additional festivals that take place on public property in Georgia, including One Musicfest, Shaky Knees, and AthFest, did not respond or declined to comment on how the Georgia law might impact future shows.
Attorney Matthew Wilson of Arnall Golden Gregory LLP is among those who say the issue of whether promoters can continue to use public property to host live events after the 2019 gun ruling is real and could lead to a significant economic hit for the state. Wilson works with a number of promoters in Georgia and across the country to book artists and secure staff, production teams, and vendors. Vulture asked him to explain the legal ruling that reportedly led to Music Midtown’s cancellation and what this might mean for the future of music festivals in the state and nationally.
What sparked this cancellation?
In 2014, Phillip Evans of Gwinnett County challenged the Atlanta Botanical Garden’s gun policy when he entered the property with a handgun attached to his waistband in plain sight. See the rest of this in Vulture.