If there was another word that could sufficiently delineate “charm,” it would be Atlanta, and if there was another word to epitomize what a music festival should be, it would be Music Midtown. Located in the lush acreage of Piedmont Park, Music Midtown revved its euphonious engine and soared with sublime summer-ending flares this past weekend. Its lineup—which included Journey, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Phoenix, Arctic Monkeys, Jane’s Addiction, Weezer, Tegan and Sara, Imagine Dragons, Cake, Capital Cities, Reignwolf, The Black Lips, Queens of the Stone Age, 2 Chainz, ZZ Ward, Mona, The Mowgli’s Drivin’ N Cryin’, and North Mississippi Allstars—could not have been any more diverse, yet vivifying. Certainly, all festivals provoke their own twists and brands, but there’s a delight and exceeding heartiness about Music Midtown that’s more than reminiscent of baking cookies with Grandma and then cuddling under a fleece blanket by a fire with a mug of marshmallowy hot chocolate in hand. Chicago is an undeniably multidimensional and melodious music hub, but it could take a lesson or two from Atlanta and recharge its festival batteries a little longer.
The first obvious standout about Music Midtown is the artists it brings to the festival. Not only are they up-and-coming, but they’re also timeless classics and utter sound ne plus ultra and eclecticism—this is THE festival where there literally is an act for any type of individual. Staying relevant to the rise of rhythm and rock while also remembering how the contemporary got to where it is today is a refreshing reminder of why music never dies. Music Midtown relishes in the revolution and permits attendees to not only understand how older artists have shaped and continue to shape the music spectrum, but also hear what is currently cleansing and conciliating others.
Another major benefit to Music Midtown is the cost efficiency, as compared to other popular festivals, this one is significantly less expensive, though just as enticing. The website doesn’t lie—that adage “more bang for your buck” bobs its head and claps its hands vigorously amongst the musical majesty overlooking the festival grounds.
Two words: Happy Belly—an Atlanta food truck that takes local, organic, wholesome and healthy eats to a whole new level of moxie and yumminess. That, and it gives five percent of its profits to the local Boys and Girls Club. That is something to feel well about digesting. Side-note: Please order the Happy Hippy.
Finally, but not forgetfully: Perhaps it’s the radiating aura that illuminates like the sun on its skyline, or perhaps it’s simply the instinctive, immaculate etiquette executed at this festival, but Music Midtown offers and emanates the Southern charm that others so often hear about, but don’t necessarily ever experience. From courteousness from festival staff and volunteers to vendors and media/press to the general upbeat vibes from the crowd, there’s no room for egos at Music Midtown, and that, dear readers, is far more refreshing than breathing in the salty air at a beach. Festival civility is always expected, but the effort exuded at Music Midtown is deserving of an award.
Chicago will always reign as a top-tiered music empire, but being exposed to the wholehearted welcome and rooted richness of Atlanta’s Music Midtown will only assist in advancing its grandeur. Populous cities may unintentionally compete against one another to vie for others’ attention, but in the realm of music, they should all look out for one another, inhale the invigoratingly orchestral air and be inspired to restore and refine the magnitude that is music. Expanding horizons revives individuals, and taking part—no matter in what way—is one step closer to reaching that sensationalism. For more information on Music Midtown, check out its Facebook page.