Students anticipate Music Midtown's return to Atlanta this weekend
Cue the anything-goes fashion, CamelBaks and hip vibes as Music Midtown takes Atlanta again this Saturday and Sunday under the shade of Piedmont Park. This weekend's set includes Mumford & Sons, blink-182, Oh Wonder and Future.
With many UA students packing their bags for this weekend's festival after a first month of classes and opening exams, the culture of music festivals continues to thrive.
“Honestly, I think music festivals have always been pretty big among the youth because it lets young people congregate together without parents or teachers around and therefore truly allows for an expansion of youthful freedom,” said Seth Stevens, a junior majoring in English and specialty show DJ at WVUA-FM. “Festivals like that of Music Midtown are doing a great job satisfying the many youthful needs of affordable and diverse opportunities for many different demographics and music fans.”
As Music Midtown features a handful of both well-known and lesser-known artists, the festival encourages a community of diverse musicians connecting with one another alongside the many fans crowding the park throughout the weekend. Some extremely devoted fans may even wait at a particular stage for hours on end just to catch a favorite musician front-row.
“Music is a community and some of these artists enjoy touring with each other and creating something bigger than themselves, they may even wander around as consumers when they’re not on stage, like Chance the Rapper at Bonnaroo, for example,” Stevens said. “For lesser-known artists in the business, the festival grants them exposure because they may have people at their show who have never heard of them, but came because they didn’t have any artists to see at that time, and who knows, they could end up being a big fan of the music.”
Atlanta has attracted crowds of thousands in the past for Music Midtown. The city as a whole has noticeably worked to expand artistically, musically and theatrically among a continuous development of new restaurants, businesses and industries throughout the city.
“Atlanta is a special place,” Stevens said. “It carried the torch for southern hip-hop before southern hip-hop existed (See: Outkast). In the last decade, its been a huge element in the trap scene alongside Houston. The city’s style is so distinct and you can tell they take a lot of pride in who they’ve become as a major southern city.”
Many students from Atlanta look forward to bringing their friends to the festival and showing them around the best local spots for food and entertainment throughout the weekend.
“For me, it was really fun to go to a festival in my home state and see so many people from all over the country,” said Alex Miller, a UA graduate student. “Every music festival across the globe has its own local flair with restaurants and merchandise, so take advantage of those opportunities. If you make it out to Music Midtown, you have to find the King of Pops and get something peach flavored.”
Stevens and Miller encourage festival goers to prepare accordingly for the hot weather forecast. With two full days of over 30 different performers, it’s no wonder many fans pack full backpacks before heading into the park for the day.
“Concerts are usually in the middle of the hottest time of the year, so dress for the heat and make sure you have plenty of water, and rock the sunscreen unless you want raccoon eyes from your sunglasses tan,” Miller said. “The shows can also get really crowded, and you can’t avoid bumping into each other. Make sure you talk to the people around you when you’re waiting for the acts to start, and you’ll have a much better experience.”
Stevens said many students are just heading to the festival for a break.
“Honestly, just take the time to sit back and chill out,” Stevens said. “Some of my favorite moments at a festival have been sitting on a blanket under a tree while a great band plays in the distance, it’s an experience you’ll never forget, enjoy it.”