Atlanta’s Midtown Music Festival canceled, reportedly over Georgia gun laws

Although the organizers did not cite a reason for canceling the festival, various media outlets citing industry and festival sources said the cancellation was due to a recent interpretation of Georgia’s firearms law, which allows firearms in public spaces, including parks.

Weapons and explosives of any kind are prohibited at the festival, according to its website. Gun rights advocates had mounted a lobbying campaign against the stance, questioning the festival’s ability to restrict guns since Georgia allows guns to be carried in parks.

Sources with knowledge of operator Live Nation’s cancellation decision who spoke to Rolling Stone cited Georgia’s gun laws as the reason.

Georgia Gun attorney Phil Evans told CNN he emailed festival organizers in May, informing them of Georgia gun laws and a case before the Supreme Court of Georgia regarding firearms in which he was party. Evans said he also asked the city of Atlanta to deny Live Nation a permit for Music Midtown, given the festival’s gun ban.

In the email dated May 13, Evans asked the city to deny the permit “because they have publicly stated their intent to violate established state law.”

“The City of Atlanta should follow and enforce state law when dealing with entities that use property owned by taxpayers who wish to make money from such use, or even otherwise” , indicates the email.

The event scheduled for September 17-18 at Piedmont Park has been canceled “due to circumstances beyond our control,” the organizer’s tweet read.

The music festival was to feature a “diverse lineup of over 30 artists across 4 stages,” including My Chemical Romance, Future, Jack White and Fall Out Boy, among others, according to the festival’s website.

“We were looking forward to reuniting in September and hope that we can enjoy the festival together again soon,” organizers said.

Last year’s festival drew some 50,000 people and featured performances by Miley Cyrus, the Jonas Brothers and Maroon 5, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Atlanta City Council President Doug Shipman said it was a “sad day” after the announcement of the cancellation.

“Public policy has real impacts and, in this case, economic and social implications on a great tradition,” Shipman tweeted.

Ticket refunds will be processed automatically within the next 24 hours, organizers said.

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