Music Midtown: North Carolina governor advocates for cancelled festival to move to his state

The governor of North Carolina is urging Atlanta's Music Midtown to move the canceled festival to his state.

Organizers for the long-running festival, which was scheduled to take place on Sept, 17 and 18 in Piedmont Park, announced the cancellation on Instagram Monday.

"Hey Midtown fans - due to circumstances beyond our control, Music Midtown will no longer be taking place this year," the festival organizers announced in a statement. "We were looking forward to reuniting in September and hope we can all get back to enjoying the festival together again soon."


The day after the announcement, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper responded to the news, telling the festival to "come on up to North Carolina."

"We’re ready to welcome you to one of our amazing outdoor spaces to help you host a fun and safe festival," he wrote on Twitter.

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

Speaking to FOX 5 Monday, Atlanta City Council member Michael Julien Bond confirmed the decision to cancel stems from new state gun legislation which allows firearms in public spaces, including Piedmont Park. 

Officials expect the cancellation to cost the city of Atlanta millions of dollars from tourists traveling to the Midtown, Downtown, and Buckhead areas for the festival.

The announcement of Music Midtown's cancellation became national news, with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams taking aim at Republican Gov. Brian Kemp over the issue.

"Brian Kemp’s dangerous and extreme gun agenda endangers the lives of Georgians, and the cancellation of Music Midtown is proof that his reckless policies endanger Georgia’s economy as well," Abrams said in a statement. "It's shameful, but not surprising, that the governor cares more about protecting dangerous people carrying guns in public than saving jobs and business in Georgia."

Kemp has not commented on the festival's cancelation, but a close ally to the governor who spoke to FOX News suggested that the festival was canceled due to low ticket sales rather than the state's gun laws.