Atlanta’s 2022 edition of the Music Midtown Festival that was set for September 17 & 18 in the city’s Piedmont Park has been canceled. Festival organizers wrote, “Due to circumstances beyond our control, Music Midtown will no longer be taking place this year. We were looking forward to reuniting in September and hope we can all get back to enjoying the festival together again soon.”
According to Rolling Stone, who confirmed with sources at the festival, those circumstances are Georgia’s gun laws. The “Safe Carry Protection Act” allows weapons to be legally carried in parks and other public spaces, and the festival does not have the power to supercede that law and enforce their own ban — “Weapons or explosives of any kind” are are on the prohibited items list stated on its website.
Pro-gun activists have been posting comments on Music Midtown’s social media pages for months, threatening legal action if the festival didn’t change their policies.
The “Safe Carry Protection Act,” which was passed in 2014, made it legal for people to carry guns in bars, churches, schools and other private businesses if the owners gave permission, and it also expanded gun carry rights on publicly owned land. In 2019, the Georgia Supreme Court set new rules on what types of business could and couldn’t ban guns on publicly owned land, stating that longterm leaseholders may, but short-term leaseholders, like Music Midtown, may not.