The Festival, the People, the Rain: Music Midtown


St. Lucia performed on the Electric Ballroom stage shortly before the thunderstorm caused an emergency evacuation. The band played a set-list of songs from their most recent album, “Matter.”

Leilani Gibbons, Features Editor

With muddy shoes and ponchos, the attendees of the 2016 Music Midtown festival were definitely in for a show as they conquered the heat and the rain to see a variety of artists. Music Midtown is an annual music festival that takes place in the 185 acres of Piedmont Park in Atlanta, Ga. This festival is a two day weekend event, and this year it was scheduled for Sept. 17 and 18. With the headline artists including The Killers, Twenty One Pilots, The Lumineers and Deadmau5, there was bound to be large crowds, which is exactly what happened.

Saturday began with high temperatures and long lines, and the eagerness of music lovers to get inside the park could be seen all around as the anticipation grew. The highlights for Saturday included DNCE, CHVRCHES, G-Eazy, Beck and of course, the closing show for the night, Twenty One Pilots. The gates opened at noon and the music began at 12:30, allowing people time to purchase merchandise, food or just become familiar with the surroundings of the park. There were a variety of activities available around the park, most of which were hosted by booths advertising their app or product. The Coca-Cola booth was offering free samples of their drinks along with recharging stations and flash tattoos, while Roadie, a moving application, offered a free drawstring bag and t shirt as an exchange for downloading their mobile app. There was never a boring moment, as the booths and food were able to help people fill time in between their shows.

While every show for the day had a decent audience, nothing compared to the massive crowd that gathered to watch Twenty One Pilots (TØP) perform at the end of the night. Almost everyone in the park joined in to watch the band play a diverse and appealing set of songs off of their two albums.

Despite the exhaustion that followed Saturday’s happenings, nothing compares to the hectic and over-all wild events that took place on Sunday, the second and final day of Music Midtown.

The day kicked off with a downpour of rain, foreshadowing what the rest of the evening would be like for the park-goers. The rain was fluctuating by the time a majority of the attendants arrived, forced to pass a plethora of street vendors selling rain ponchos. The various headline shows for Sunday included St. Lucia, Melanie Martinez, Grouplove, James Bay, Ke$ha, The Lumineers and finally The Killers.

However, after about five hours into the day, a weather emergency was announced due to the rain, and security officials began asking everyone to evacuate the park. This caused an uproar of anger and confusion, as most people, security and event staff included, were not informed on what was going to happen. This time was filled with commotion and distress, with half of the people retreating to MARTA while the other half simply refused to leave.

Roughly an hour following the initial emergency evacuation, the Music Midtown staff sent an official notification letting people know that the park was reopening and that the festival would commence. Luckily, the concluding concerts were rescheduled as opposed to being canceled, and the night went on, despite the continuous thunderstorm.

Overall, 2016 Music Midtown was two days of extreme weather, contrasting between unbearably hot temperatures and heavy rain, having people enter to sweltering heat and leaving them treading through pits of mud on their way out. But, despite this dilemma, the festival was surrounded by great music and happy dancing until the last band left.