Since its inception in 1994, Atlanta's Music Midtown Festival has quickly become one of the largest and most anticipated music celebrations in the country, attracting almost 250,000 fun-lovers in 1999 alone. The seventh installment of the annual event, scheduled for May 5-7, will include more than 130 bands performing on nine stages over three days. Among the heavy-hitters set to play on the Midtown stages this year are Creed, Oasis, the Allman Brothers Band, Sevendust, Nas and Meshell Ndegeocello.
The full lineup represents a broad cross-section of rock and roots, from bluegrass hero Bela Fleck to classic rockers Foreigner and Paul Rodgers, from Scottish mood rockers Travis to jam band moe. Other standouts include BR5-49, Collective Soul, Cracker, Guster, Joe Satriani, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Our Lady Peace, Southern Culture on the Skids, Susan Tedeschi and Taj Mahal. Several of the same acts are scheduled to play the New Orleans' Jazz and Heritage Festival, which takes place over the same weekend.
In addition to the live music, the Midtown Festival also features a KidsTown area for younger attendees, roaming street performers, a performance art stage, a film festival and other "high culture" events like wine-tasting.
In addition to more stages and bands than 1999, the festival will also enjoy a new location, spanning thirty-five acres in the heart of the city and including two parks. The move is due, according to a Midtown Festival press release, to "major urban development" where the event has taken place in previous years.
Another first for the festival occurred on March 20, when popular rockers Collective Soul joined Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell and festival promoters Alex Cooley and Peter Conlon for a webcast press conference on the festival site, www.musicmidtown.com. Organizers ultimately plan to make the webcast
available in the site archives.
The festival begins Friday, May 5, at 6 p.m. and lasts until midnight. Saturday runs from noon to midnight, and Sunday from noon to 10 p.m. Tickets are $30 for a three-day pass and $25 per day for single-day passes.
Written by ROBIN A. ROTHMAN for RollingStone.com News