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Music Midtown returns for two nights with Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters

Foo Fighters will headline the first night of Music Midtown.

Foo Fighters will headline the first night of Music Midtown.

Last year’s exploratory return has evolved into this year’s full-fledged declaration that Music Midtown is back.

The long-running Atlanta music festival, resurrected in 2011 after a five-year break, will again claim Piedmont Park as its locale this fall with a two-day lineup stocked with star power and diversity.

Veteran rockers Foo Fighters and Pearl Jam will headline Sept. 21 and 22, respectively, while acts including T.I., Florence & The Machine, Ludacris, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, Avett Brothers, Girl Talk, Van Hunt, Civil TwilightLP and Oh Brother will fill in the rest of the slots on two stages erected at the park.

Initially, tickets will cost $55 for one day, $100 for both, with VIP packages ringing in at $250 and $500 and a “Super” VIP option for $1,000 for the weekend. They go on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday via Ticketmaster. Prices are expected to increase – likely $65 for a one day pass and $120 for the weekend – during the summer.

“The thing we didn’t have time to do last year was [work on] diversification. This year we have a very diverse lineup,” said Peter Conlon, president of Live Nation Atlanta, in an exclusive interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I also wanted an Atlanta feel because this is an Atlanta festival.”

Ludacris, T.I. and Van Hunt fulfill that niche.

The 2011 version of Music Midtown drew 38,000 people to the park for a one-day concert spearheaded by The Black Keys and Coldplay. Conlon began preparing for this year’s event two weeks later.

Since he announced the festival’s return last year, Conlon has been resolute about his intentions to rebrand Music Midtown slowly.

“We had to be two days [this year]. It’s impossible to do what we need to do in one day – that’s what I learned last year. But we put on last year’s in 90 days, which is pretty hard to do. I’d give us a big A,” he said.

Still, don’t expect the days of Music Midtown past — multiple stages and dozens of acts – to ever be restored.

“I’d like to grow a little more, maybe three or four stages, but we’ll never get up to six stages again,” Conlon said. “It got unmanageable. We were programming stages for the fact of programming them.”

Music Midtown 2011 cost more than $4 million to produce and Conlon projects this year’s will run in the $6 million range.

The promoter was so happy with the setup at Piedmont Park last year – and said he received positive reinforcement from the city and neighborhood about the smooth running of the event – that another site was never considered.

Pearl Jam's Music Midtown performance on Sept. 22 is expected to be their only public live concert in 2012. Photo credit: Danny Clinch

Pearl Jam's Music Midtown performance on Sept. 22 is expected to be their only public live concert in 2012. Photo credit: Danny Clinch

“Piedmont is the only place that can do an event like that,” Conlon said, citing the amount of green space, as well as proximity to mass transit and name recognition.

As for this year’s headliners, this will be the Foo Fighters’ second Music Midtown appearance – they last played in 2004 – and is expected to be Pearl Jam’s only public U.S. concert this year.

Conlon said it was almost effortless to corral acts this year, based on the good word of mouth among music agents who attended last year’s gig.

“They were telling everybody, ‘This is cool,’ and at that point, you don’t have to sell yourself. You just have to have the availability and the money,” Conlon said. “We had to build our base back, show people what we do. I had to make it better. And I think we’ve got the best lineup in the country.”

What you need to know about Music Midtown

When: 4 p.m. (gates) Sept. 21 for Foo Fighters, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, T.I., Avett Brothers and Van Hunt.

Noon (gates) Sept. 22 for Pearl Jam, Ludacris and Florence & The Machine. Girl Talk, Civil Twilight, LP and Oh Brother.

Where: The Meadow at Piedmont Park, 10th St. and Charles Allen Drive, Atlanta.

Tickets: $55 (one day) and $100 (weekend pass); $250 (VIP one day) and $500 (VIP weekend); $1,000 (super VIP weekend pass). On sale at 10 a.m. April 28. 1-800-745-3000, www.ticketmaster.com.

Follow me on Twitter @ajclifestyle

94 comments Add your comment

Smarty

April 24th, 2012
7:09 pm

I sure hope they will have super duper security because with Ludacris and especially T.I. gunfire
could happen. Folks if it can happen at ‘Screen on the Green’ it can happen here easily.

White Trash Bill

April 24th, 2012
7:13 pm

Man, can’t they get no Skynyrd? If they want to do some more modern stuff how about Colt Ford? Also, can I find a place to park the Trans Am down there? Why don’t they have this thang at the Horse Park in Conyers?

White Trash Bill

April 24th, 2012
7:17 pm

Who is TI and Ludicrous? Are they disco singers? Are they going to shoot people? Why would anybody go to a thang like this if you could get shot by disco singers?

Joey T

April 24th, 2012
7:18 pm

Pearl Jam has plenty of shows announced for this year. What do you actually mean?

Fred ™

April 24th, 2012
7:18 pm

6 million for that line up? Really? Which one of them is worth more than $100,000 grand a gig? Which of them is currently worth $10,000?

FOO

April 24th, 2012
7:19 pm

Love Foo Fighters and Avett Bros!

Really Man

April 24th, 2012
7:25 pm

@ Smarty….So you are comparing Screen on the Green to Music Midtown? You are talking about a venue that holds 200 people (mainly thuggish idiotic kids) and comparing it with a highly publicized event that held a little over 38,000 last year? I’ve attended every Midtown festival since it began and I have never experienced shooting or anytype of outrageous violence. The authority make their presence felt from the moment you step inside the park. Yeah we older folks tend to get a little out of it after a long day of drinking and rocking it out with Pearl Jam, but there is no threat of violence. Even an old fart like myself can have a good time. And by the way I seen Ludacris in concert at Midtown fest back in 2000. I’m not a rap music fan, but I was thoroughly impressed with him. He put on one heck of a show. Get a life Smarty and quit speaking negativity. Gunfire can happen anywhere. God Bless

TL

April 24th, 2012
7:25 pm

Pearl Jam does have plenty of shows announced for this year, including one on the beach in Florida. Plus, if you’re talking about an Atlanta connection, Pearl Jam fits this bill as well since they recorded several of their albums at Southern Tracks studios and their producer, Brendan O’Brien, lives here and, in fact, appeared in concert with them back in 2003 at Lakewood to play Crown of Thorns….(yes, I’m a fan!)

FOOJAM

April 24th, 2012
7:25 pm

Pretty good lineup minus the rap. Maybe nobody will get shot when TI or Luda do their thing.

Teach2Learn

April 24th, 2012
7:29 pm

I’m with Joey T @7:18pm. This will not be Pearl Jam’s “only public concert this year.”

http://www.pearljam.com/tour

Can't Wait!

April 24th, 2012
7:30 pm

@Smarty & Really Man – Never had a problem with shooting or violence. APD makes sure that its a safe environment. I’ve had no problems taking my children in the past and we will be there enjoying the music in September. Although I may not be a fan of all the genre’s of music that the festival offers, I do enjoy seeing all artist perform. Its always a great venue. CAN’T WAIT

weaseal

April 24th, 2012
7:30 pm

This is a great 2 day festival its got a little for EVERYONE !!!!

PJSYCO

April 24th, 2012
7:33 pm

FINALLY, Pearl Jam back in Atlanta!!!!!!!!

Ginstar

April 24th, 2012
7:33 pm

OMG its the attack of the Black Performers. There will be black people everywhere. Run for you life. Shoot em up Bang Bang.

Funny how Ludacris and T.I. are getting singled out because of their race. I have a good idea. Lets make it an all white affair. Idiots!!!!!!!!

P.S. Disco singers???? LOL. Go change your man diaper.

Michael

April 24th, 2012
7:42 pm

couldnt they get some rock bands better than the foo fighters and pearl jam. i mean those 2 where ok at best back in the 90s. why not godsmack or hell yeah?

White Trash Bill

April 24th, 2012
7:42 pm

Ginstar said, “I have a good idea. Lets make it an all white affair.”

Man don’t be hatin on folks that are different than you are. Also, I know a lot of white people don’t like disco, but you should be more open minded.

FOOJAM

April 24th, 2012
7:43 pm

OMG. It’s the attack of the offended person. Nobody said anything about color. That was you. They’re singled out because its rap music and TI buys silencers and automatic guns.

Michael

April 24th, 2012
7:44 pm

oh yeah and the ticket prices jeeez man aint we in a recession?

Contractor

April 24th, 2012
7:44 pm

Gin star,

Pretty much summed up your intelligence with your pathetic post. T.I. And Ludacris are singled out because their type of music is the type that brings forth a crowd that produces gun shots, theft, fights, and stabbings. Spare us all your pathetic racial talk and actually understand what was being said, not trying to focus on what was not said. hard to state your case when T.I. Was sent to jail for felony gun possession, and then breaking conditions of his parole. I like the guys music at times, but facts are facts, so the person’s comments above aren’t too crazy.

JP

April 24th, 2012
7:46 pm

Pearl Jam has no United States dates in 2012. Eddie plays solo in the US but not with the band officially, yet. So far Music Midtown is the only Pearl Jam date in 2012 officially announced.

Matty Ice

April 24th, 2012
7:49 pm

TI and Ludacris? Someone’s going to get shot.

brock

April 24th, 2012
7:58 pm

Solid lineup, and though I’m not into rap, plenty of others are, so I understand adding those performers. Hayseeds!

KL

April 24th, 2012
8:15 pm

@Contractor: Eddie Vedder was arrested for public drunkenness and Dave Grohl was arrested for DUI. No one said anything about that. If you don’t see the racial undertones when people call out TI and Ludacris, you’re blind.

@Michael: Godsmack? Seriously? Stay in Conyers, please.

pauletta

April 24th, 2012
8:17 pm

this will be awesome i cant wait..ive attended every midtown music fest since living in atlanta…fyi before it was stopped they had plenty of rappers no voilence. and i was there at the screen on the green mayham someone pointed a lazer beam someone screamed cause a bug crawled on them everyone started running in the darkness cops werent around because most was at civic center during mayors town hall meeting to introduce the 3 possiable candidates for police chief..and the rest was at the gas station at north ave and spring shooting the breeze…i drive a taxi in the city i never felt unsafe here…fyi foo fighters latest album was awesome no studio gimmicks…also what i first loved about atlanta is the diversity and understanding..since the housing market colapsed people wanted someone to blame…can we all get back to how we all embraced each other? on that note thank you piedmont park conversacy for allowing the midtown music festival back..and thank you to the piedmont park neighbors and ansley neighbors for not complaining about the rest of the city coming to your area…

PJSYCO

April 24th, 2012
8:17 pm

@Michael, could you please pass the meth pipe?

from where i live...

April 24th, 2012
8:21 pm

To say the neighborhoods were delighted with how well things went is a huge stretch. It was a mess and a total pain how they ran traffice closures on 10th St for a week with two schools on the road. Signage for road closures by the City were poor to non existant; i have tried hard to forget the “communication snafu’s” about what they actually were going to do when and accomodate a major commuter corridor and school buses and all the rest.
Two days? oh help… trash out the yingyang the city won’t clean up, the grass in the park in big dead squares b/c of the stage supports. One day is tolerable, two days is shades of Freaknik irrespective of attendees’ skin color
Pimpin’ out the park again to make the mayor some $$ and brownie points with the entertainment industry

Concert Lover

April 24th, 2012
8:23 pm

I love outdoor concerts…and I love some of these bands… so that’s not the issue. Music Midtown is getting too big for Piedmont Park! So, what’s in it for the Park? Piedmont Park Conservancy? The adjacent neighborhoods? I prefer The Green Concert, a 1 day event, with only 2 bands, which brings in the same numbers, and partners with the PPC. Music Midtown is more of a hostile takeover of a public asset by the city and promoters. Whatever happened to spreading the “love” to other parks, giving Piedmont Park a rest between monstrous festivals, giving the neighboring tax payers a rest between monstrous festivals? Please do divulge the beneficiaries of MM… ie) how much does the city make on this venue? how much does Conlon make? How much does the PPC make? And does the city earmark any of the proceeds to the adjacent neighborhoods for street lighting, street scapes, improved sidewalks and crosswalks? I love outdoor concerts, but MM is becoming a huge load on the park! Too much of a good thing is simply… too much!

Chuck

April 24th, 2012
8:32 pm

Isn’t TI supposed to be in jail? Again?

really?!

April 24th, 2012
8:35 pm

Anyone who is complaining about Foo Fighters and Pearl Jam needs to reassess what good taste in music is. Sure there are better bands in the world, but seriously, these are two talented bands. How do you think they’re still around from the 90’s touring?!

Shoulda Stayed in the River City

April 24th, 2012
8:35 pm

Um, Pearl Jam’s only public concert?, http://www.pearljam.com/news/pearl-jam-perform-deluna-fest-2012

Keep up that great work, editors.

GIRL TALK

April 24th, 2012
8:44 pm

GIRL TALK !!!!!!!!!!!

MES

April 24th, 2012
8:46 pm

Concert Lover- WELL SAID. I couldn’t agree more. As far as MM is concerned, I have some of the best memories of my life from the real Music Midtown. This lineup leaves a lot to be desired, and is GROSSLY overpriced. This is not the real Music Midtown. The real Music Midtown was a bunch of stages that included both huge bands and local acts. I remember seeing Little John and the Eastside Boyz when nobody outside ATL knew who they were. I remember seeing Iggy Pop, Dicky Betts’ last show with the Allman Brothers, Outkast on the Aquemini tour, the list goes on and on. The real MM is RIP. This new Music Midtown should be called something else, like Piedmont Jamfest or something

YUMIKA SMITH

April 24th, 2012
8:48 pm

TI and Ludacris are singled out because their type of music is the type that brings forth a crowd that produces gun shots, theft, fights, and stabbings.

TRUE AND WELL SAID…

There goes the family feeling of the concert by inviting the negroes in.

NOW THATS RACIST!!! SMH

Girl Talk

April 24th, 2012
8:50 pm

Girl Talk sucks

Pipe234

April 24th, 2012
8:56 pm

Enter your comments here

Chainshaw

April 24th, 2012
8:59 pm

I’m the white guy from the suburbs, but you can bet that I will have my family there for Florence and the Machine and Pearl Jam. Honestly, Ludacris was icing on the cake. He will put on a great hometown show. I am looking forward to it.

NOT FOOLING ME!

April 24th, 2012
9:02 pm

All these bands suck except TI, Luda and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. Pearl Jam is a bunch of rubbish, Foo Fighters are super crappy pop-rock, Florence & The Machine just completely suck, Avett Brothers and their entire fanbase new breed of christian rockers is so incredibly lame, Girl Talk is GARBAGE that takes no talent..You want to hear some good mashups of samples? Listen to Quiet Village…NOT worth the price! VIP prices? Gimme a break man! The city should boycott this, and it should NOT be called Music Midtown, because it’s NOT MUSIC MIDTOWN!

Countingfoo

April 24th, 2012
9:06 pm

It will be PJ’s only US show(they’re touring Europe). EV will be touring in the US.

C

April 24th, 2012
9:08 pm

@concert lover-You would be suprised how little the promoters and organizers of concert festivals such as this actually make (with the exceptions of Bonnaroo, New Orleans Jazz Fest, and Cochella). Between huge guarantees for the performers (and their management, traveling crew, etc.), acquiring city permits, insurance, staging, security, port-o-potties and other deductions, the profit margins are quite narrow. This is what happened to the previous incarnation of MM which had a couple of years of bad weather and lower than expected ticket sales. Couple that with advertising budgets going down and Mayor Franklin’s crackdown of anything fun, it was over.

27find

April 24th, 2012
9:09 pm

First of all I want to thank everyone on this post because looking at some your post will ensure my wealth. Because of your lack of focus, I will do what major corporations and other finanical establishments have done for many years, collect major profits from you all as you continue to stay ignorant and happy and focus issues that are not relavent. Again thank you all for many days on the world’s beaches.

Contractor

April 24th, 2012
9:09 pm

KL,

Far cry from guns, stabbings, and theft. Your opinion of “undertones” is the way you interpret it, not necessarily what was suggested. Rap music brings violence, it’s a proven fact. Not saying Pearl Jam back in the day didn’t have any fights break out at their shows, but they also aren’t condoning killing, shootings, etc. What do you have to say about the undertones in most rap songs? Exactly, so try logic before sounding like a fool.

[...] AJC, hat tip – Kevin Tankersley] Scott BernsteinScott Bernstein co-founded Hidden Track in October 2006 [...]

FOOJAM

April 24th, 2012
9:24 pm

maybe Tupac’s hologram will show up.

Ginstar

April 24th, 2012
9:24 pm

Thank God for us Humans with the same Mitochondrial DNA and the forsight to create Diversity in Hues, Culture and Eclectic Mindset.Your Future is greater than your past. Go and grow without prejudice. The Love for Music is Universal.

White Trash Bill

April 24th, 2012
9:31 pm

FOOJAM said, “maybe Tupac’s hologram will show up.”

Naw, man than Biggie’s hologram would show up and Shug’s hologram would have his LAPD holograms start shooting and they’d be hologram bullets flying everywhere.

lantana

April 24th, 2012
9:40 pm

I’m not sure who is more stupid, the people who leave comments… or me for reading them.

FOOJAM

April 24th, 2012
9:42 pm

ha. I’d pay to see that. Maybe Snoop Dog will show up with some hologram herbs.

Jonathan

April 24th, 2012
9:44 pm

Foos rock!!! Nuff said

April Brown

April 24th, 2012
9:51 pm

Why are we sterotyping? T.I. and Ludarcris are performing so what. If you are scared stay home. I am more afraid of certain individuals (you know who you are) becoming drunk and belligerent! Stop the racist comments.

Shoulda Stayed in the River City

April 24th, 2012
10:04 pm

@Countingfoo please see link above for http://www.pearljam.com