Music Midtown: A history

A timeline of the festival’s highs and lows
Music Midtown
Illustration by Adam Doyle

It’s been five years since Music Midtown cofounder Peter Conlon, now president of Live Nation Atlanta, revived the festival. Below, a few of the highs and lows of its more than 20-year history.

1994
Launches as a two-day event at the then-undeveloped area at 10th Street and Peachtree to compete with New Orleans Jazz Fest.

1999
Relocates to Centennial Park area, then later moves to a third site adjacent to the Atlanta Civic Center.

2000
Biggest-ever show, with more than 130 bands on six stages.

2005
The now three-day event moves to June to avoid the rainy season; gets washed out by Tropical Storm Arlene anyway.

2006
Conlon pulls the plug as expenses and event coordination grow unmanageable.

2011
Returns after a six-year hiatus as a one-day event in the fall at Piedmont Park. Top acts include Coldplay and the Black Keys.

2012
Festival expands to two days with Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters headlining; attendance reaches 50,000 each day.

2013
100,000 concertgoers (and rain) leave parts of Piedmont in tatters. The park’s conservancy insists that the festival incur responsibility for future damages.

2015
Adds a fourth stage—and part-time Atlantan Elton John as headliner.

On the calendar Elton John and Drake headline Music Midtown at Piedmont Park from September 18 through 19.

This article originally appeared in our September 2015 issue.

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