Surviving Music Midtown

Music Midtown, Atlanta’s music festival, has a long standing tradition of bringing some of the biggest and best acts to our fair city. For years this event was a multi-day concert with several stages representing every radio station in the area. This tradition went on hiatus for a bit but the organizers have been working hard to bring it back to it’s former glory, and the 2012Music Midtown was definitely a sign of that. This year’s lineup was phenomenal and the event was a challenging and beautiful way to spend a weekend.

After a long stint of going to multi-day camping festivals I had almost forgotten how different city festivals can be. The crowd, the vibe, security…but the biggest difference between a camping fest and a city fest isthat you have to worry about logistics like city traffic, rush hour, and transportation. Music Midtown is in the heart of the city so parking can be a major pain. Pay parking and bike racks were available in some places, though many chose to skip the $20+ parking and just take MARTA. The trains run every 10-20 minutes so you can catch one with no problem and it only cost $5 a person for a round trip. The ride back is a little crowded but we found it very worth it to leave the cars at home and over indulge in the $10 beers.

Speaking of that, the drinks were everywhere! Vendors with cocktails, giant beers, and craft beers were all set up throughout the venue. After arriving at the festival we found a good spot to chill and took out the tapestry to sit on. From that point on a beer vendor with a bucket passed every few minutes so it would have been the perfect situation if the drinking of thisbeer did not inevitably lead to bathroom visits. I’m not sure what was going trough the minds of the organizers when they planned the number of available porta-potties but it was ugly. The lines were out of hand ridiculous and the locations were all far away from the stages. This is the first time I have ever seen two girls actually come to blows over a bathroom if that paints a picture of how bad it was. Hopefully the Music Midtown folks learn from this mistake and realize that a sold out crowd and tons of beer vendors equals lots and lots of bathrooms.

The eclectic lineup brought a pretty eclectic crowd. People of all ages were present, including teenagers, middle aged folks, and even some families. Some liked to get there early and set up a good chill spot while others choseto bounce around from stage to stage. Those of you who remember the “old” Music Midtown will remember the spread out stages and large venue but this year’s show had two stages which were close together. One set would end then another would begin. We chose to plop down right in the middle of the two so that we could hear both shows without having to move. This has it’s benefits, like being able to find your way back to your crew every time without getting lost, or find friends you are looking for. Having a home base to kick off your shoes and chill is also nice. If you like to bounce around there is lots to see. You can ride the Ferris wheel, check out the beautiful Atlanta skyline, or just people watch. So many beautiful people were in attendance at this show, so if you are a single person you couldhave a hay day in a sea of all the hotties running around.

Besides all the hotties, the main event, the music, was so amazing. The headliners were a huge draw. I mean… The Avett Brothers, Foo Fighters, Ludacris, and of course Pearl Jam. Just hearing the lineup made me smile, so you can imagine the joy of actually getting to see all of these bands in one place. It was a strange experience to see such different acts so close together, you almost had to hit reset on your brain between the shows. It doesn’t get more opposite than hearing TI sing “Whatever You Like” then turning around 5 minutes later to hear The Avett Brothers with their folk sound belting out “The Fall”, or dancing your ass off to GirlTalk then turning around to get ready for Pearl Jam. The highlight ofthe weekend for me was watching Joan Jett come out with the Foo Fighters and sing “Bad Reputation”. She is such a legend and the Foo Fighters have become icons of our generation so this collaboration was just plain awesome. Pearl Jam has not visited Atlanta in a very long time so fans came out of the wood work to experience this show, and they were not disappointed The band really brought it on the set list, pulling out some old school and mixing in the new. It was a great treat to hear them close the weekend with Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World”.

Music Midtown 2012 was definitely one for the win column, and with it’s stellar lineup and sold out ticket sales Atlanta can expect this tradition to continue to grow, I can’t wait for next year!