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Music Midtown 2020



About Music Midtown

With its initial run from 1994 to 2005, Peter Conlon and the late Alex Cooley's Music Midtown earned a reputation as Atlanta’s definitive outdoor, large music festival. Following a six-year hiatus, the event, powered by Conlon and LiveNation, has reached cruising altitude, growing heftier with each successive year, presenting established and rising mainstream musical acts. Sign up online for this year’s lineup, schedule, and contests. The festivities unfold in the heart of Piedmont Park. PRO TIP: It’s an urban festival, so take advantage of the transportation systems the city has to offer. Take a ride on MARTA or stroll to it on the BeltLine. Avoiding the nightmare traffic situation that backs up at the intersection of 10th and Monroe through Midtown will improve everyone’s festival experience.

Music MidTown Featured[1]


History of Music Midtown

In the summer of 1994, Atlanta concert promoters Peter Conlon and Alex Cooley put together a two-day outdoor music festival in the middle of the city, partially as an experiment. They wanted to gauge the public's interest in such an event, and within a few years Music Midtown became an annual weekend festival featuring six stages that drew as many as 300,000 concertgoers at its peak. Acts as varied as Bob Dylan, James Brown, Devo, Hole, Funkadelic, Wilco, Iggy Pop and hundreds of others were all part of the annual lineup.

Music Midtown is the largest music festival in Atlanta, attracting thousands of concertgoers from around the country. The 2018 Music Midtown took place the weekend of September 15-16, and once again makes its home in Piedmont Park. The 2018 lineup boasted an assorted mix of monolithic mainstream pop and hip-hop artists, as well as various rising but lesser-known performers. Headliners Kendrick Lamar, Imagine Dragons, Fall Out Boy, and Post Malone are joined by the likes of Janelle Monáe, Portugal. The Man, Sylvan Esso, Mattiel, Gucci Mane, Arthur Buck, and more. As with every year, concertgoers flock to the city in droves. Atlanta denizens may be well advised to take MARTA to the Midtown station and walk to the park, or simply stroll along the Beltline right into the heart of the park to avoid the soul-crushing traffic situation, not to mention finding a place to park — parking passes can be purchased through Music Midtown’s website for $20.

From a 2018 Interview with Peter Conlon - "We’re the biggest music festival in Atlanta. Historically, we’ve built a brand. A lot of acts in the history of the festival that went on to be meaningful acts in this market, their first play was Music Midtown. There’s a lot of focus on certain acts at the mid-level. As recently as 21 Pilots, who headlined Music Midtown a few years ago — we just put them on sale at Philips Arena, and they sold out in one day. We were one of the first festivals to have them.

The original concept of Music Midtown was to have an eclectic enough lineup where we brought people in for certain artists but exposed them to other artists, to all different kinds of music. That’s what we’ve tried to maintain. We aren’t as eclectic as we used to be, but maybe we’ll get that way.

The other thing we’ve tried to do is keep it affordable. The first festival back in ’94 was $25, but we can’t do that anymore. Even the current price of $145, for the acts you are seeing, it’s extremely affordable. In an arena, you pay that much just for one night. The other thing is the economic benefit for Atlanta. It generates around $50 million for the city. And we pay for everything.”

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Saturday September 14, 2019 12:00 pm EDT
Guide to the 2019 festival | more...

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Thursday May 26, 2016 09:15 am EDT
Plus, Margarita Wars, Basquiat, and the Low Museum's Birthday/Closing Party. | more...

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Thursday September 10, 2015 03:22 pm EDT
Your handy field guide for this year's line up and performance times. | more...

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Tuesday June 23, 2015 01:37 pm EDT
Run the Jewels, Drake, Van Halen, Jenny Lewis, and more take over Piedmont Park Sept. 18-19 | more...

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Friday August 14, 2009 04:15 am EDT
1) The B-52's play Mable House Barnes Amphitheater. | more...


Creative Loafing Stories About Music Midtown

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Saturday September 19, 2020 12:00 am EDT
Browse the Music Midtown schedule as well as recommendations. CL's critics & readers weigh in on the definitive guide to the event. | more...

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Saturday September 14, 2019 12:00 pm EDT
Guide to the 2019 festival | more...

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Friday October 5, 2018 11:45 am EDT

Check out a gallery of images from Music Midtown 2018. Photographer Perry Julien was in the pit and on the stage capturing images of K.Flay, Gucci Mane, 30 Seconds to Mars, Imagine Dragons, and more.

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Thursday September 13, 2018 01:00 am EDT
Festival co-founder Peter Conlon on how Atlanta benefits from so much music | more...

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Monday June 11, 2018 10:38 am EDT
Guide to the 2018 festival, featuring Kendrick Lamar, Imagine Dragons, Post Malone, and more | more...

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Monday June 11, 2018 10:38 am EDT
Kendrick Lamar, Imagine Dragons, Post Malone, and more headline the Piedmont Park music fest Sept. 15-16 | more...

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Tuesday August 29, 2017 01:10 pm EDT
Plus: Trump works to re-militarize cops | more...

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Tuesday August 29, 2017 01:10 pm EDT

For your planning purposes: The schedule for Music Midtown came out yesterday. The question is, how will you decide between catching Wiz Khalifa and The Naked and Famous?

Two unknown Georgia counties may join the controversial 287g program, which allows local law enforcement to act as immigration officials and question people about their citizenship status.

This won't end well: The Trump...

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Thursday August 3, 2017 01:22 pm EDT
Photographer Perry Julien has an eye for music | more...

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Tuesday June 20, 2017 02:14 pm EDT
Bruno Mars, Future, Blink-182 and Mumford & Sons headline this year's two-day music festival in Piedmont Park | more...

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Tuesday September 27, 2016 01:58 pm EDT
Plus, a Downtown vacant building is becoming a high school | more...

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Friday September 23, 2016 07:31 pm EDT
I picked up my camera not knowing what they might do next | more...

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Sunday September 4, 2016 04:42 am EDT
From Many Rivers to Music Midtown, massive music gatherings are plentiful | more...

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Tuesday August 23, 2016 03:12 pm EDT
Beck, Big Boi, ColleGrove, the Coathangers and more take over Piedmont Park Sept. 17-18 | more...

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Wednesday July 20, 2016 01:06 pm EDT
Local music promoter highlights bands making moves in the underground rock scene. | more...

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Tuesday July 19, 2016 04:36 pm EDT
Logic, Grouplove, City and Colour, and Johnnyswim have been added to the Atlanta music festival taking over Piedmont Park Sept. 17-18. | more...

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Friday July 1, 2016 04:00 pm EDT
A round up of Atlanta Music Festivals through the fall. | more...

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Wednesday June 22, 2016 11:03 am EDT
Big Boi, 2 Chainz, and Raury rep for Atlanta on a bill featuring the Killers, Alabama Shakes, Beck, DeadMau5 | more...

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Wednesday June 22, 2016 09:51 am EDT
3,300 cases of beer stolen from SweetWater Brewing and dozens of Glocks MIA from APS stash | more...

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Thursday June 9, 2016 09:38 am EDT
He hopes that Trump, if elected, will immediately begin "undoing the damage done by President Barack Obama" | more...

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Thursday May 26, 2016 09:15 am EDT
Plus, Margarita Wars, Basquiat, and the Low Museum's Birthday/Closing Party. | more...

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Wednesday December 2, 2015 09:55 am EST
Plus, a new coach for UGA and major upsets for local music | more...

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Tuesday December 1, 2015 06:02 pm EST
Cooley's place in the history of music throughout the Southeast cannot be overstated. | more...

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Thursday September 24, 2015 11:07 am EDT
Are you in this photograph? | more...

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Monday September 21, 2015 07:07 pm EDT
Photographer Perry Julien returns from the trenches of Music Midtown 2015, capturing performances by Elton John, Run the Jewels, Van Halen, and more. | more...