Festivalist ’13: Music Midtown – 9/20-9/21 – Atlanta, GA

1017245_482714575142360_702241457_nWhat: Music Midtown
When: September 20-21
Where: Piedmont Park, Atlanta, GA
Who: Friday, 9/20 – Journey, Jane’s Addiction, 2 Chainz, Phoenix, Cake, North Mississippi Allstars, The Mowgli’s, Drivin N Cryin. Saturday, 9/21 – Red Hot Chili Peppers, Queens of the Stone Age, Imagine Dragons, Weezer, Kendrick Lamar, Arctic Monkeys, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Tegan and Sara, The Black Lips, Reignwolf, The Neighbourhood, ZZ Ward, Mona, Capital Cities
Tickets: $40 for Sept. 20, $65 for Sept. 21 and $90 for a two-day ticket. After Aug. 1, prices will increase to $50 for Sept. 20, $75 for Sept. 21 and $110 for a two-day ticket. Fans can purchase beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday (link).
Tell Me More: When May passed without a hint of a 3rd edition of fun in Piedmont Park, I assumed Music Midtown faced death 2.0. Even if it isn’t the Music Midtown of the past, the event is still a great event for the city of Atlanta. Let’s face it though, organizers couldn’t top booking Foo Fighters and Pearl Jam as headliners when it came to 2013’s edition of Music Midtown. While the headliners of Journey (uh, what?) and Red Hot Chili Peppers (solid) are miles away from Dave Grohl and Eddie Vedder, and Friday isn’t particularly thrilling, MM has a helluva day planned for Saturday. I’d argue many fans would be happier if QOTSA were headlining, but a day full of rising by the minute act Imagine Dragons, nostalgic rock with Weezer, indie rockers Arctic Monkeys and Yeah Yeah Yeahs and underrated Tegan and Sara couldn’t be much better. MM upgraded their hip-hop act with Kendrick Lamar (let’s face it, he’d outperform both Luda and T.I. these days) and went with the unpredictable home punks of Black Lips. Organizers even went for soon to blow-up indie bands like The Neighbourhood and Capital Cities, which might even make people show up early on a “football Saturday”.

I can’t be the only person puzzled by Journey’s slot as Friday night headliner. With Mumford & Sons’ tour in Florida on 9/14, I thought for certain they’d be in ATL for Music Midtown, but recent health issues could have been a factor. I also thought organizers would land a big EDM act, but could have been deterred by TomorrowWorld taking place at the end of the month (and snatching up a ton of big acts).

Credit is definitely due to Music Midtown for again putting on an affordable festival with even more acts than 2012 (15 vs. 22). Journey may not be your ideal, crowd pleasing closer on Friday, but a ticket to Phoenix alone would cost more than the $40 admission. Saturday should really cost more than $90 by itself. Peter Conlon suggests you get your tickets early, considering last year sold out. This year’s fest will also add a third stage and potentially more room to breathe, though capacity will stay around 50,000.

What do you think of Music Midtown 2013? Will you be attending?