Atlanta’s largest music festival Music Midtown cancelled its two-day September event due to Georgia’s gun laws, according to reports. Organizers called off the event through a social media post, saying “due to circumstances beyond our control, Music Midtown will no longer be taking place this year.”
Though Live Nation didn’t spell out a reason for the cancellation, sources who work with the festival told Rolling Stone that Georgia’s gun laws (which permit carrying a gun to public places, including parks) were to blame.
The laws collide with Music Midtown’s ban on firearms, as the website states that “weapons and explosives of any kind” are prohibited.
The festival, which attracts tens of thousands of festivalgoers, was challenged in May by a gun rights advocate, according to SaportaReport.
A lawsuit was out of the picture, but they asked Music Midtown to lift its firearm ban.
Atlanta-based journalist George Chidi was first to report the possible scenario where Music Midtown cancelled its event due to the state’s gun laws.
“Georgia’s gun laws make it impossible to bar firearms from Piedmont Park, a condition required by many artists’ concert riders,” he wrote on Twitter.
Timothy Lytton, a law professor at Georgia State University, told NPR the festival’s cancellation is what happens when the state creates a grey area for gun laws.
“And now we have an unclear case: What happens if you have a privately organized concert but in a very public venue like a city park? Is that a private event? Or is that a public venue? And the answer to that is somewhat unclear.”
Music Midtown, which should have taken over Piedmont Park on the 17th and 18th of September, had an eclectic line-up of over 30 artists. Future, Jack White, Fall Out Boy and My Chemical Romance were all supposed to perform across the fest’s four stages.