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Music Mud-town

The Southerner

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For the third year since it took a six-year hiatus, Music Midtown resounded through Piedmont Park, bringing famous artists from across the world to play across the street from Grady. And, just like each of the two previous years, as the dust settles and the giant stages are dismantled and wheeled away, we are rewarded with a field of trampled grass that looks near death.

In the days following Music Midtown, the Piedmont Park Conservatory set up rings of black tarp fences surrounding large swatches of dead grass and dried mud that still bears the scars of tens of thousands of feet beating down on it. When viewed from the second floor of Grady, they look like circular scars dotting the field. This year, the fenced-in areas are exceptionally large due to the heavy rain on Saturday, Sept. 21 that turned the field into a giant, muddy marsh. The amount of trash that accumulated on the edges of 10th Street and our new bike lane was astounding, and the workers that we could see picking up trash the Monday after Music Midtown didn’t seem to be able to make a dent in the pile.

What is more worrying is the effect that the trampled grass has not only on the aesthetic of the park, but on the ability of Atlantans to use the park as a place of fun and exercise. Since the whole field is fenced off, the Grady cross-country team has been unable to run through that area, and the people that usually bring blankets to picnic on the edge of the field are nowhere to be found. The inability to use the field will last for a couple of weeks until the new grass grows in.

Live Nation, the sponsor of Music Midtown, promises every year to pay for the full cost of remediation, including cleanup, fencing, re-sodding and mulching. This year, Live Nation has had more fences and sod to pay for than ever since the heavy rain and the addition of another stage resulted in more damaged areas. We can only hope that the weather is favorable and the new grass grows in quickly so that we can once again enjoy what Piedmont Park has to offer.

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