Music Midtown had to be canceled because of coronavirus, but by next fall, ‘people want to get together’

My Chemical Romance's first tour in nine years includes a headlining slot at Music Midtown 2021. Photo: Claire Marie Vogel
My Chemical Romance's first tour in nine years includes a headlining slot at Music Midtown 2021. Photo: Claire Marie Vogel

Despite attracting one of the strongest pre-sales in its recent history, Music Midtown was forced off the calendar this year because of the ongoing threat of coronavirus, especially among large groups of people.

“The safety of our fans and the artists is always our main concern and at our forefront,” said Peter Conlon, president of Live Nation Atlanta, which produces the event.

Conlon said that earlier this spring, when other festivals such as Coachella moved to the fall, he thought Music Midtown’s September dates might also allow the festival to take place as planned.

But, he said on Wednesday, “I didn’t see any light at the end of the tunnel at this point,” noting that most major artists have nixed their tours until next year.

The 2021 edition of Music Midtown will be held Sept. 18-19 in Piedmont Park.

The majority of the lineup had been secured for 2020 and Conlon is optimistic that many of the acts booked for this year will be able to play next year instead. Headliner My Chemical Romance, announced in January, proved a strong draw, and will remain on the bill. All Conlon would hint about the rest of the lineup is that it is closer to the 2018 mix of headliners (Kendrick Lamar, Imagine Dragons, Post Malone and Fall Out Boy) than last year’s decidedly younger-leaning collection (Travis Scott, Panic! At the Disco, Billie Eilish, Cardi B and Vampire Weekend).

“Artists who will attract older and younger (fans) alike,” he said.

Conlon said that even after Tuesday’s cancellation announcement, fans continued to buy tickets for next year (still available at the pre-sale price of $125 for two-day general admission).

“That showed me that people wanted to go to the event,” he said, adding that he believes by next year, fans will feel confident attending large-scale events. “Festivals are unique and we’ll do everything we can to do it safely. I think people still want to get together.”

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