Music Midtown cancels 2022 festival in Piedmont Park

Music Midtown, Atlanta's long-running festival at Piedmont Park, has canceled this year's festival, organizers announced Monday.

In a statement posted on Instagram Monday morning, Music Midtown said "due to circumstances beyond our control" the festival "will no longer be taking place this year."

The festival was scheduled for Sept. 17 and 18, and included headliners My Chemical Romance, Fallout Boy, Future, and Jack White.

"We were looking forward to reuniting in September and hope we can all get back to enjoying the festival together again soon," the Instagram post continued. 

"I enjoy the festivals and was looking forward to this one especially after the pandemic," Midtown resident Georgia Willborn said.

"I know there were a lot of people with high hopes to go, and it’s sad it got canceled last minute," Atlanta resident Jalliyah White said.

"I’ve seen a lot of festivals. I really have," Barbara Lammons said.

While organizers did not specifically say the reason behind the cancellation, Billboard reported industry sources connecting the cancellation to Georgia's "Safe Carry Protection Act." The 2014 law allows guns on government land and in government buildings, with some exceptions.  

"This is going to set a precedent, but not in the way we anticipated because what we are talking about now is exchange of freedoms," Atlanta City Council member Michael J. Bond said.

Bond confirmed the decision to cancel stems from new State Gun Legislation which allows firearms in public spaces, including Piedmont Park. 

A general view of the audience on day 2 of Music Midtown at Piedmont Park on September 19, 2021. (Photo by Scott Legato/WireImage)

In 2019, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled that the Atlanta Botanical Garden, despite being on land publicly owned, could lawfully prohibit guns due to it being a private entity. However, the ruling also set a test for private organizations using public land, which Billboard said created legal issues for festivals like Music Midtown, which has barred guns from the event.

According to the festival's website, the event prohibits weapons and explosives of any kind are prohibited.

"This is a huge lost economic impact for central, Midtown, Downtown, and Buckhead for sure," Bond said. "It’s already proven Music Midtown generates millions of dollars for the city of Atlanta."

"We need all of the boosting we can. We are feeling the crunch of the pandemic and the recession," Willborn said. "That’s money for vendors and people of all kind. Everyone gets to make money from festivals like that. When you cancel it that really trickles down, for real,"

FOX 5 reached out to the office of the Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens and Georgia Governor Brian Kemp but have not heard back.

Officials said refunds will be processed automatically in the next 24 hours and that purchases should expect refunds to be processed by their bank in seven to 10 business days.