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Music Midtown will Return with Coldplay, Black Keys and 'Surprise'

Atlanta Mayor says music festival will return to Midtown.

Music lovers rejoice!

"Music Midtown is back, Atlanta!" Mayor Kasim Reed said Wednesday at a press conference downtown. "Please give it up for Atlanta!"

The festival -- which ran 12 times from 1994 to 2005 -- is set for Sept. 24 in .

Coldplay and The Black Keys will headline on Saturday, Reed said at the conference.

"There isn't a better place for this," Atlanta City Councilman Alex Wan said Wednesday. "Piedmont Park is ... a spectacular setting for outdoor music events."

Performances could be added on Friday night. At the conference, Reed said they are "working on a big surprise for Friday night."

This year two stages will be set up in meadow by . The restaurant will serve as a festival venue, too.

Other performers include: Cage the Elephant (which this year is touring with The Black Keys), Manchester Orchestra, Young the Giant, Band of Skulls, Joy Formidable, The Constellations, The Postelles and Mona.

"Consider this the first year, not the 13th, for Music Midtown," Live Nation president Peter Conlon said Wednesday at the conference. 

"It's a different business now," Conlon said. "It's a different site."

Ticket Sales

Tickets cost $56 and will go on sale July 16 at 10 a.m. One dollar from each ticket sale will benefit the city's recreation centers and after-school activities for youth. 

There will be two levels of VIP tickets -- one costs $250, the other $1,000. Those ticket holders will enjoy a private entrance, free food and drinks, and air-conditioned restrooms. Valet parking and backstage viewing are perks given to people that pay $1,000.

If performances are booked on Friday, Sept. 23, there will be a separate ticket price. Those details are forthcoming, organizers said.

Geoff Rogers, vice president of the Midtown Neighbors' Association, said Tuesday night that this year's festival could have "a very different feel to it." Previous festivals ran for three days. 

"There's no reason it couldn't be a very big success," Rogers said. 

Permit Pending

Festival organizers expect around 120,000 people to attend, according to an application for an outdoor festival permit filed in June (see PDF above). 

The permit for Music Midtown still must be approved. 

The application was on the July 5 agenda for Neighborhood Planning Unit E. But board chair Penelope Cheroff said festival organizers called her Tuesday afternoon to defer the discussion.

The permit will be on the August agenda, Cheroff said. The Midtown Neighbors' Association will review the application at the end of July, Rogers said. 

Rogers said the Piedmont Park Conservancy's Green Concert has been canceled for this year.

"With the Green Concert gone ... it seems to me that's it's going to be the one big concert event this year," Rogers said.

For more information, check out the newly launched Music Midtown website

Are you excited the festival is returning? 

KMB July 06, 2011 at 05:18 PM
Meh. Coldplay? Even though I live 2 blocks away, I'm not compelled to attend (as of right now).
Savas Koutsantonis July 07, 2011 at 01:59 AM
Fantastic...Coldplay!! I live a 1/2 block away and will certainly attend. Already have friends asking to park at my house.
john lennon July 07, 2011 at 11:21 AM
Very disappointed that there are zero classic artists named to appear - MM's tradition was ALWAYS to balance new artists with a plethora of classic artists and a wide variety of musical styles for everyone. Artists announced so far totally fail both the wide diversity tradition and the classic artists tradition. Seeing Coldplay indoors with Coldplay fans would make much more sense to me than at this sham pretending to be Music Midtown where they'll be paired with a bunch of lightweight artists. Not to mention that if Conlon & company are planning on expanding this to an all weekend event - another MM tradition - holding it during football season rather than in the spring is very questionable. The "we aren't a staticy channel, we're very clear" corporation that bought the rights to MM and forced out MM founder Alex Cooley killed Music Midtown, and it is evident that lacking Cooley, this new Music Midtown will only be a counterfeit of the original.
Al Etheridge July 07, 2011 at 12:14 PM
Regardless of one's musical taste, proceeds from the Green concert have enabled wonderful improvements to Piedmont Park (e.g. refurbished pool, playgrounds, dog park, fountain, additional acreage etc...). Will the Park similarly benefit form Peter Conlan's Music Midtown or will proceeds all go to LiveNation etc...?

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