Atlanta’s Midtown Music Pageant Canceled, Allegedly On account of Georgia’s Gun Legislation

Although organizers did not state the reason for the cancellation of the festival, multiple media reports citing industry and festival sources said the cancellation was due to a recent interpretation of Georgia’s gun laws, which allow the use of firearms. gun use in public spaces, including parks.

Weapons and explosives of any kind are prohibited at the festival, according to its website. Gun rights advocates have waged a pressure campaign against that view, calling into question the festival’s ability to restrict guns because Georgia allows guns in parks.

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

Phil Evans, a gun advocate in Georgia, told CNN he emailed festival organizers in May, telling them about Georgia’s gun laws and a Georgia Supreme Court case handling gun in which he was engaged. Evans said he also asked the City of Atlanta to deny a license to Live Nation for Music Midtown, due to the festival banning guns.

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

“The City of Atlanta should respect state law and respect it when dealing with organizations that use taxpayer-owned property that want to make money from that use, or even otherwise,” email said.

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

The music festival is set to showcase a “diverse lineup of more than 30 artists across four stages,” including My Chemical Romance, Future, Jack White and Fall Out Boy among others, according to festival website.

The organizers said: “We are looking forward to reunited in September and hope we can all return to enjoy the festival together soon.”

Last year’s festival drew around 50,000 people and featured performances by Miley Cyrus, 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 cancellation was announced.

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

The organizers said that the refund will be processed automatically within the next 24 hours.

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