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Georgia Gun Law takes out Music Midtown


Many predicted fallout from the recent passage and signing of a new gun law in the state of Georgia and Music Midtown is the first to go down. Georgia law allows guns at public parks and preempts local governments from passing local gun laws stricter than the states.

Music Midtown has typically banned weapons “of any kind” from being brought into Piedmont Park. A court ruling this year, however, could call into question event organizers’ ability to legally enforce that rule. 

Because of Georgia laws, the inability to stop people from bringing guns onto public property where a music festival is held spurred the cancellation of Atlanta’s popular musical event. Music Midtown. The popular, two-day music event was canceled in part due to Georgia’s laws governing — or, more accurately, permitting — the carrying of guns in public parks, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Tuesday. Many point to other events being in jeopardy and more harm coming to the area because of the loss of revenue that businesses have come to rely upon from this event as well as others. 

Given recent rulings, gun rights advocates had questioned whether Music Midtown had the legal power to ban weapons “of any kind” at the event, as the festival’s operators had typically done. The end result, according to the sources who spoke to reporters, was that festival owners were concerned about the threat of a lawsuit from gun owners if they tried to hold the event with a gun prohibition in place. There were also concerns that some of the scheduled artists would refuse to perform if weapons were allowed at the venue. The final decision came in an  announcement telling of the festival’s cancellation due to “circumstances beyond our control.“ 

Jerry Henry of GA2A, the gun rights group that filed litigation that triggered the 2019 ruling said, “The law is on our side. And we spent a lot of time to make sure it was on our side. So if Music Midtown tried to restrict licensed firearms owners from bringing guns to the festival, it would have been a violation of the law.”

It is estimated that over 50,000 people attended Music Midtown last year. Fans, which many expected to be even larger, should look no farther than the gold dome and the governor for answers. Many are predicting more fallout from the decision to choose weapons over people. 

Past Music Midtown events have included big-name performers including Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters, Coldplay, Eminem, Van Halen, Post Malone, and Bruno Mars. Last year, Miley Cyrus, Jonas Brothers, and Maroon 5 were among the artists that performed. 

Atlanta City Council President Doug Shipman said it was “a sad day” for the city after the cancellation was announced. “Public policy has real impacts and in this case economic and social implications on a great tradition,” Shipman posted on Twitter. 

The 2022 law signed by Governor Brian Kemp to roll back a license requirement to carry concealed weapons and now the cancellation of Music Midtown are just a few of the issues Democrats will use during the upcoming November election against the Republicans. Democrats are already laying blame on the backs of the Republicans. 

Stacey Abrams, the Democratic Nominee for Governor said in a statement, “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.”

For those who already purchased tickets, organizers say refunds for this year’s festival will be processed automatically within seven to 10 business days. Questions about refunds can be submitted at contact.frontgatetickets.com.


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