Atlanta music festival Music Midtown canceled for 2024

Music Midtown cancels 2024 festival

Music Midtown cancels 2024 festival

There’s some bad news for those who were looking forward to attending the long-running Atlanta music festival Music Midtown this year: It’s not happening.

A Wednesday Instagram post announced that the festival is going on hiatus in 2024.

“After producing legendary festivals over the past three decades that drew music fans from across the globe, we want to share that Music Midtown is going on hiatus this year,” the post read. “We encourage you to continue supporting live music in Atlanta and stay tuned here for future updates.”

Peter Conlon, who runs Live Nation Atlanta and created the festival 30 years ago with Alex Cooley, did not respond to a text and phone call for comment.

The festival, which typically happens in September, has drawn a wide range of acts over the years such as Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters, Coldplay, Eminem, Van Halen, Post Malone, Bruno Mars and Miley Cyrus. Last year’s lineup featured Billie Eilish, Lil Baby and the 1975.

Atlanta, Ga: Billie Eilish headlined Saturday night at Music Midtown showing why she's one of the biggest forces in pop music with an onslaught of hits and raw energy. Photo taken Saturday, September 16, 2023 at Piedmont Park. (RYAN FLEISHER FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION)

Credit: Ryan Fleisher

icon to expand image

Credit: Ryan Fleisher

Music Midtown began in 1994 in an open space that is now where the Federal Reserve Bank building resides with acts like Joan Baez, Al Green and James Brown. After the 1999 festival took over parts of downtown Atlanta, Music Midtown moved to Central Park from 2000 to 2005.

That also happens to be the home of rival three-day rock-oriented music festival Shaky Knees, which took place May 3-5 this year and featured acts like Noah Kahan, Weezer, Foo Fighters and Billy Idol.

Since 2011, when Conlon revived the festival, Music Midtown has planted itself at Piedmont Park.

“Southside” Steve Rickman, a longtime morning host in town on stations such as 96 Rock, Rock 100.5 and currently FoxFM, has attended almost every Music Midtown going back to 1994.

Rickman talks to Conlon regularly on his FoxFM show and plans to ask him about Music Midtown on Friday morning.

“I’m sure it’s gotten expensive to run and Live Nation has to go through hoops with the city to make it happen,” he said. “Peter loves Music Midtown. It’s sad this happened, but I’m sure he’ll try to bring it back next year.”

He thinks Conlon’s corporate bosses at Beverly Hills, Calif.-based Live Nation, the largest concert promoter in the country, decided to focus their energies on Alpharetta’s Ameris Bank Amphitheatre, which has a record 46 concerts scheduled this year. Ameris is hosting many acts that could have easily been scheduled for the Music Midtown stage such as the Dave Matthews Band, Alanis Morissette, Cage the Elephant, Mt. Joy, Staind and Creed.

Music Midtown has shifted its lineup over the years, which has included rock, pop and a bit of hip-hop. For a time in the early 2010s, it was a mixture of acts geared for both Millennials and Gen Xers. More recently, the lineup skewed younger.

The festival was canceled in 2022 without explanation a little more than six weeks before it was scheduled to happen. That year’s lineup was supposed to include Fall Out Boy, Future, My Chemical Romance and Jack White.

Last year, Live Nation added a couple of acts that would appeal to an older audience such as Pink and Guns N’ Roses. The concert promoter did not release attendance figures after the three-day event. During the Friday night Pink concert, there were wide expanses of open green space. Eilish on Saturday drew more people.

Steve Craig, program director for alternative rock station 99X, said Music Midtown has struggled to find the right lineup mix in recent years and may have gone too broad last year. He recalled general admission Music Midtown three-day tickets at $200 did not sell out. In comparison, more focused rock-oriented Shaky Knees sold out its three-day passes, he said, and they were considerably more expensive.

September 18, 2023 Atlanta: Todd Srodes (left) and Natasha Nash with Tactical Production Support moved equipment out of the main stag area as the sun was out on a mild Monday at Piedmont Park on Sept. 18, 2023 following the weekend’s Music Midtown. There was plenty of mud left behind near the stages where music fans congregated in the rain. Headliners included veteran pop singer Pink, brooding singer-songwriter Billie Eilish, classic rock band Guns N’ Roses and Atlanta hip-hop artist Lil Baby as the headliners from Sept. 15-17 at Piedmont Park. Live Nation returned the festival to three days, up from two in recent years, with about 40 acts in total. In recent years, the festival has accommodated at least 50,000 people per day. Since Music Midtown launched in 1994, it has drawn tens of thousands each year to see major acts such as Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters, Coldplay, Eminem, Van Halen, Post Malone, Bruno Mars and Miley Cyrus. There wikll be plenty of sunshine maybe with less wind, for the rest of the week. A small chance for a few showers returns for the weekend, Channel 2 Action News meteorologist Ashley Kramlich said. (John Spink /

Credit: John Spink/AJC

icon to expand image

Credit: John Spink/AJC

Piedmont Park’s lawns also take a beating from the festival, and the AJC posted numerous photos of the muddy aftermath last year. A spokesman for The Piedmont Park Conservancy, a non-profit group that works with the city of Atlanta to ensure the park remains viable, didn’t return a text for comment.

Michael Smith, a spokesman for Atlanta Mayor André Dickens, had no comment Wednesday afternoon.