Businesses and event planners are reporting that the Music Midtown Festival has been canceled
ATLANTA – Businesses that were looking forward to the return of Music Midtown are calling the shots about the sudden cancellation of an annual festival in Piedmont Park.
“We’re definitely very crazy,” said Luz Martinez of Midtown’s Zocalo Restaurant.
Music Midtown announced Monday that it will have to cancel its 2022 festival due to “circumstances beyond our control.” Channel 2 learned that Georgia’s gun debate is just part of the reason it was canceled.
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The festival is one of the largest music festivals in the Southeast, and Martinez said her restaurant will be missed by the crowds.
“Oh, they’re definitely going to be a loss,” Martinez said.
Sources tell Channel 2 that a Monroe County man is defying public events that prevent people from carrying weapons in public places.
Channel 2 received an email from two independent sources showing a Monroe County man reaching the festival. Parts of the email read: “If any member of your security team encounters a lawfully armed person and either prevents them from entering or simply lets them go because they are lawfully armed, your company could be sued for damages and all associated legal costs, not mention Live Nation too.”
This is not the first time a judge has heard a case like this.
A 2014 Georgia law allowed people to carry guns on public land. The case involved a man from Georgia against the Botanical Garden. That man argued they couldn’t ban guns, but a judge said they could because the Botanical Garden had a long-term lease.
Many are wondering if this issue applies to Music Midtown.
John Monroe with GA2A, a state gun rights group, said probably not: “There has been a law for several years in Georgia that if a private party like Live Nation, the promoter of Music Midtown, if they rent the property where they have a festival from a public party like in this case City of Atlanta in Piedmont Park, they must abide by the rules on public property.
Michael Zilla lives downtown and has attended the festival in the past, “I don’t believe that any kind of weapon should ever be brought into any type of huge festival, because you can’t control chaos.
Many are now concerned about future events at Piedmont Park, especially with the Atlanta Pride Fest coming up, “We have taken the Georgia Open Carry Law into account with our security plans for years now. Although we would certainly like to see more regulations and the ability to restrict weapons, just because we think large crowds and guns don’t mix,” Jamie Fergerson told the Atlanta Pride Committee.
The Atlanta Pride Committee said they will not cancel the event, but will have extra security. Meanwhile, those who bought tickets for Music Midtown can get a refund.
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