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Atlanta festival cancelled, possibly due to local pro-gun laws

By | Published on Tuesday 2 August 2022

A long-running Live Nation promoted music festival in Atlanta – due to be headlined this year by My Chemical Romance, Future, Jack White and Fallout Boy – has been called off, reportedly because of legal issues that would have made it difficult to force a gun ban at the event.

Because, yes, we are in the good old gun loving US of A – and specifically the firearms friendly state of Georgia – where there are legal challenges for event organisers who try to stop attendees from bringing a gun with them to a show if that show is being staged on publicly owned property.

Like, for example, Piedmont Park in Atlanta, where the Music Midtown festival was set to take place next month.

According to Billboard, this all stems from the state’s Safe Carry Protection Act – aka the ‘guns everywhere law’ – and a 2019 ruling in the Georgia Supreme Court regarding how that law should apply where private enterprises are using public property. Basically, anyone using public property on a short-term basis is obliged to respect the gun carrying rights of Georgian citizens under the Safe Carry Protection Act.

Certain pro-gun rights groups in Atlanta have seemingly been emailing organisers of Music Midtown – and posting to the festival’s social media – threatening legal challenges if those rights were not respected, which would likely have created problems – had the show gone ahead – for any security staff seeking to stop guns from being carried into the festival.

All of which, it is speculated, is why Live Nation has decided to cancel this year’s edition, presumably so that an alternative site, not publicly owned, can be sourced for future years, meaning gun carrying festival goers can be told the fuck off at the door without legal consequences.

None of this was mentioned in the official cancellation notice, which simply stated that: “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”.