Music Midtown is an annual music festival held in Atlanta, Georgia. The main location is Piedmont Park and it usually occurs on the second weekend of September. All music genres are represented at Music Midtown, with previous festivals including pop music, hip-hop music, country music, electronic music, classic rock music, and heavy metal music.
Music Midtown is hands down one of our favorite festivals, based in Atlanta, we are admittedly biased, but we do love the ATL!
When Is Music Midtown?
Music Midtown usually takes place in Mid-September which is an amazing time of year in Atlanta. The weather is much cooler that time of year and it is a much needed break from the hot and humid summers in Georgia. It is still warm durning the days, but it is usually cooler in the evenings.
Where Is Music Midtown?
The Music Midtown festival takes place in the heart of Midtown Atlanta at Piedmont Park. Piedmont Park is one of the largest and most beautiful parks in the city of Atlanta and is hands down one of the best places to host a music festival in Georgia.
Piedmont Park is 185 acres of trails, ponds, gardens, dog parks, and large open greenspace which makes it absolutely perfect for an awesome music festival.
How Is The Weather?
Well, September is a great month to be in Atlanta but several Music Midtown weekends have turned into a rain fest. For the most part though, the weather tends to turn down during the day and especially at night compared to the summer months. It can get hot during the day with the humidity and the low 80’s temp, but it can cool off at night so be prepared for hot days and cool nights.
According to this Google Search the highs in September are 83 and the lows are 62 so again. It will be hot during the day, but it can cool down a bit at night. So if the low 60s aren’t your thing in flip flops, maybe put a light layer in your day pack.
Is Music Midtown A Camping Festival?
For better or worse, it is definitely not a camping festival as it is located in the heart of Atlanta. After a long stint of going to multi-day camping festivals, we 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 is that you have to worry about logistics like city traffic, rush hour, and transportation. It does mean that if you are coming in from out of town you will need to book accommodations which you can do so here.
How Do I Get To There?
Music Midtown is in the heart of the city so parking can be tough to find, super expensive, and honestly just a huge page in the ass. Pay parking and bike racks were available in some places, though many choose to skip the $20+ parking and just take MARTA.
MARTA is Atlanta’s public transportation system and certainly has its flaws, but it is cheap, fast, and they have some great locations to help get you around some of the coolest parts of the city. For the train schedule click here. The nearest stations are at Midtown and Arts Center and you are a quick walk away from one of the several entrances.
The trains run every 10-20 minutes so you can catch one with no problem and it only costs $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 overindulge in the $10 beers.
With the rapid growth of Atlanta over the years MARTA has had a tough time keeping up with the growth, but we have seen vast improvements recently, and when it comes to music festivals like Music Midtown, it is a no brainer and can make attending much more convenient.
Does It Sell Out?
Music Midtown does not typically sell out but we have seen certain days sell out before. Also, the festival is growing in popularity year after year and so waiting to get your tickets may not be a good idea. We suggest buying the weekend pass even if you don’t plan on going each day, because you get more jams for your buck and there is always something fun going on and there will always be new artists you haven’t heard of that can quickly become your new fav.
A Little History
The first Music Midtown was held in 1994 as a one-day event with only eight musical acts performed on two stages. That means there were only 16 bands total playing throughout the day/night! These days the lineup features over 100 different artists and bands across four stages and over 50 hours of music played over the course of three days.
I spent some time listening to music from Music Midtown’s past and compiled a playlist containing every song that has ever been played. The total length is 58 hours, 3 minutes, 33 seconds. Yes… it took more than three days of music to compile the entire list of music.
Music Midtown was one of my favorite music festivals growing up because people spent time in Piedmont Park with friends, seeing great music all day/night, playing on the swings at Zoo Atlanta before it closed for the year, walking around the Aquarium after dark, and checking out MomoCon (an anime convention) while waiting for music acts to perform during lulls between headliners.
It is always an event that combines many things that are near and dear to everyone’s heart.
Music Midtown, Atlanta’s music festival, has a long-standing tradition of bringing some of the biggest and best acts to this amazing 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 its former glory, and the 2012 Music Midtown was definitely a sign of that. Every year’s lineup is phenomenal and the event is a fun and beautiful way to spend a weekend.
How Are The Drinks?
Speaking of beverages, the drinks are 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 picnic blanket 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 this beer did not inevitably lead to bathroom visits. I’m not sure what was going through the minds of the organizers when they planned the number of available porta-potties but it was ugly.
One of our favorite breweries and a local favorite here in Atlanta, Sweetwater Brewery, always has a presence at Music Midtown and for good reason. Their beers are amazing! The IPAs can be a bit heavy for an all day festival but they have some great festive summer brews as well including a personal favorite, the Goin’ Coastal Tropical IPA.
How Is The Food?
Well the food in Atlanta is amazing. The food scene here has really taken off in the last decade or so and a lot of that amazing food you would find throughout the city makes its way into the festival grounds as well. The lineup changes every year, but it is always amazing.
When you are grabbing a bite at some of the local spots around town before heading into the festival be sure to check out Pour Taproom, Smith’s Old Bar, Guacy Margy’s, or any of the other amazing restaurants in the Midtown Atlanta area!
The restaurants and pubs surrounding the event are sure to be packed, so give yourself enough time to walk around and hang out.
How Are The Restrooms?
The lines can get out of hand ridiculous and the locations can be 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 can be.
The good news is, the Music Midtown folks learn from this mistakes and realized that a sold-out crowd and tons of beer vendors equal lots and lots of bathroom breaks. This has gotten much better over the years, but you still need to be prepared for long bathroom lines.
Eclectic Lineup 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 chose to 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 most year’s shows have two stages that are close together. One set would end and then another would promptly begin.
We chose to chill right in the middle of the two main stages so that we could hear both shows without having to move. This has its benefits, like being able to find your way back to your crew every time without getting lost, or finding 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 could have a hay day in a sea of all the hotties running around.
The Music Midtown Jams
Besides all the hotties, the main event, the music, is always so amazing. The headliners are always a huge draw. Year after year hearing the lineup makes me smile, so you can imagine the joy of actually getting to see all of these bands from so many different genres all 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.
The artist lineup is always full of music for everyone. Even if none of the headliners tickle your fancy I can assure you that you will have a blast with the jams coming from the side stages as well as the main stages. To see this years lineup be sure to check out their
What Is Allowed and What Is Prohibited?
Guests and their belongings are subject to search upon entry or re-entry. You can help keep the lines moving quickly by leaving large bags at home.
The following items are ALLOWED:
Clear plastic, vinyl or PVC tote bag not exceeding 12” x 6” x 12” (or 864 cubic inches total volume) with a single compartment, small clutch-type bag not exceeding 4.5” x 6.5” with or without a handle or strap and one-gallon clear plastic freezer bag (Ziploc bag or similar)
Blankets, Sheets, Towels
Cameras (basic point and shoot consumer-grade cameras) without detachable lenses and other accessories (monopods, selfie sticks, tripods, GoPro mounts, and other attachments are not allowed)
Empty reusable water bottles and hydration packs, and plastic or aluminum water bottles
Prescription Medicine Requirements:
Anyone needing prescription medicine at the festival must present the pharmacy-labeled container which states the prescription, dosage, and patient name to our medical staff at each entrance gate. Patrons are only allowed a sufficient supply of the prescribed medication for that day.
Medicines needing to be inhaled or smoked are prohibited unless in a prescribed inhaler.
Over the counter medications are allowed in a sufficient supply for the day. Bottle contents will be verified by medical personnel at the entry gates.
The following items are PROHIBITED:
Bags will be restricted to small purses, totes and drawstring bags only. Bag size may not exceed 12″ x 12″ x 6″, or 30 linear inches (75cm) in total, and must have no more than one singular pocket or opening. Backpacks and bags with multiple pockets are prohibited. Hydration packs are allowed but must be emptied of all liquid and have no more than two pockets in addition to the one holding the water reservoir.
Aerosol containers, including sunscreen and personal beauty products
Coolers of any kind. (Exceptions may be made for medical use)
Framed backpacks, multiple pocket back packs and any pack that is not aligned with the allowed backpacks above.
Any and all professional audio recording equipment
Professional cameras and professional recording (photo, video, audio) equipment (NO large professional detachable zoom lenses, stands, monopods, tripods, attachment sticks (selfie sticks) or other commercial equipment.
Any and all professional video equipment. No video recording will be allowed
Drones or any other remote flying device
Glass containers of any kind
Illegal and Illicit substances of any kind
Outside food or beverage (including alcohol) of any kind
Pets (except service animals)
Skateboards, scooters, bicycles, wagons, carts or any personal motorized vehicles
Tents, canopies, or shade structures of any kind
Unauthorized/unlicensed vendors are not allowed. No unauthorized solicitation and materials including handbills, flyers, stickers, beach balls, give-aways, samples, etc.
Weapons or explosives of any kind
Large chains or spiked jewelry
Bicycles inside festival grounds (free parking is available near festival entrance)
Carts of any kind (including Red Wagons)
Chairs of any kind
*SUBJECT TO CHANGE
What Is The Music Midtown Bag Policy?
Music Midtown lets you bring in decent sized bags and if you play your cards right you can fit everything yo you need into your bags. The approved bags include:
Clear plastic, vinyl or PVC tote bag not exceeding 12” x 6” x 12” (or 864 cubic inches total volume) with a single compartment
Small clutch-type bag not exceeding 4.5” x 6.5” with or without a handle or strap
One-gallon clear plastic freezer bag (Ziploc bag or similar)
Additional Tips For Music Midtown
Bring a bag to contain all of your music essentials. A fanny pack or backpack will do just fine.
Bring a raincoat if the forecast looks questionable. This festival has definitely seen its share of rain over the years. Here is a great guide to surviving a rainy music festival.
Wear comfortable shoes. That means no heels, wedges, cowboy boots, etc… unless you have no need for feet in the near future! In order to properly enjoy Music Midtown, you need to be able to get from one stage to another quickly and this is especially important when music acts are being changed on two different stages at once.
Go with a friend(s) who enjoys music as much as you do. There’s nothing worse than losing someone you came within the crowd of people that fill Piedmont Park during music festivals.
Pack a few snacks and make sure you have plenty of water. Music festival food can be overpriced and if you are going in on an empty stomach and spend all day there you can end up forking over a bunch of cash to stay fueled all weekend.
Lollipops are always good to suck on during music festivals due to their ability to produce saliva which will help with cottonmouth more than coffee or soda ever could!
Don’t drink too much caffeine! A music festival lasts all day/night so natural energy boosts are best because they won’t wear off after an hour or two as energy drinks do.
Dress for the weather but keep in mind that music festivals can get hot even if it’s raining outside… especially when thousands of people are packed into a small area like Piedmont Park. If the music festival you’re attending is outside then wear sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat to protect yourself from sunburn/heat stroke/sun poisoning.
Make sure you have cash on hand for water, snacks, and drinks. There’s no need to overpack because music festivals are notorious for long bathroom lines. Butt wipes are great for keeping clean when nature calls but they’re also nice for any sticky fingers too! They’ll come in handy if someone spills their drink/popcorn/whatever onto you so don’t leave home without them.
Music Midtown is hands down one of our favorite festivals of the year, that is not just because we are based in Atlanta and love this city, but because the lineup is always amazing, and Piedmont Park is such a beautiful space in the heart of one of the coolest cities in the US.
We hope you found this guide useful! If so be sure to share it with your crew that plans on attending with you and download our ultimate music festival checklist to make sure you don’t leave anything behind!