Music Midtown Festival Canceled After Court Says Guns Can’t Be Banned
Organizers for the Music Midtown Festival, which was scheduled to take place in Atlanta’s Piedmont Park on September 17-18, canceled the festival earlier today, August 1, citing “reasons out of our control.” Billboard, citing sources within the industry, says things are a little more complicated and a result of firearms policies on public land.
The official statement from Music Midtown:
“Hey Midtown fans – due to circumstances beyond our control, Music Midtown will no longer be taking place this year. We were looking forward to reuniting in September and hope we can all get back to enjoying the festival together again soon.
“Refunds will be processed automatically within the next 24 hours to the original method of payment. Please allow 7-10 business days for the refund to be processed by your bank. For any questions related to refunds, please visit contact.frontgatetickets.com.“
The Billboard article reveals more information, explaining that Georgia gun laws appear to be the real reason Music Midtown isn’t happening. In 2019, the Georgia government expanded on the Safe Carry Protection Act (also referred to as the Guns Everywhere law), which allows George residents to legally carry guns on public property.
Essentially, according to Billboard, the Safe Carry Protection Act says that a business can ban guns on the premise if it has a long-term lease. Because Music Midtown is a festival, they do not have a long-term lease and thus can’t ban guns. The report also states that the Atlanta or Georgia governments can’t enforce this rule, but private citizens can opt to take legal action.
The future of the festival, which is operated by Live Nation, is unclear. My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy and Turnstile were set to perform. From the sound of the report, it appears that the festival will have to move locations next year if it wishes to ban patrons from bringing guns.