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Music Midtown receives community criticism

Music+Midtown+took+place+from+September+17-18%2C+2016+and+attracted+thousands+of+fans.+However%2C+many+community+members+voiced+complaints+regarding+the+effects+on+the+surrounding+neighborhoods.
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Music Midtown receives community criticism

Music Midtown took place from September 17-18, 2016 and attracted thousands of fans. However, many community members voiced complaints regarding the effects on the surrounding neighborhoods.

Music Midtown took place from September 17-18, 2016 and attracted thousands of fans. However, many community members voiced complaints regarding the effects on the surrounding neighborhoods.

Music Midtown took place from September 17-18, 2016 and attracted thousands of fans. However, many community members voiced complaints regarding the effects on the surrounding neighborhoods.

Music Midtown took place from September 17-18, 2016 and attracted thousands of fans. However, many community members voiced complaints regarding the effects on the surrounding neighborhoods.

Max Nevins

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Music Midtown took place from September 17-18, 2016 and attracted thousands of fans. However, many community members voiced complaints regarding the effects on the surrounding neighborhoods.

Music Midtown took place from September 17-18, 2016 and attracted thousands of fans. However, many community members voiced complaints regarding the effects on the surrounding neighborhoods.

Thousands of music lovers weathered through the hot sun and flash rain as Piedmont Park housed Music Midtown for the sixth time on September 17-18. As the festival continues to attract thousands, Midtown locals have recently voiced complaints regarding its growth.

“Music Midtown has grown to be bigger than the park can comfortably handle,” Virginia-Highland resident Joe Few said. “It takes so much and gives nothing back.”

Since relocating to Piedmont Park from Downtown in 2011, Music Midtown has traditionally taken place on Friday and Saturday. This year, however, the festival took place on Saturday and Sunday. This was a concern for neighbors with children who had school the next morning and had to sleep through the loud music which lasted until 11:00 p.m.

“I live one block from the park and the noise was annoying,” Few said. “The fact that it went to 11:00 p.m. on a school night was disgraceful.”

While the noise was a complaint on Sunday night, one of the primary concerns that the community has voiced is the traffic and inconvenience. For Paige Cucchi, who lives a street away from the park, the inconveniences are continually increasing.

“Every year Music Midtown gets bigger, so the time it takes to set up and take down has increased,” Cucchi said. “It limits our access to Grady and 10th Street, so it makes it really difficult to get around.”

With the heavy crowds during the event, residential streets have become packed with cars. Locals often have trouble entering and leaving their houses. There have also been possible safety concerns.

“It’s an incredible inconvenience to the neighborhood to have all the increased traffic during the weekend. Parking is already a problem in Ansley without folks coming in,” Ansley Park Civic Association President Kevin Grady said. “A lot of times they’ll park in a way that makes it difficult for people to have access to their driveways. If there is a firetruck or an ambulance that needs to get through the streets, they can be very much inconvenienced by that.”

With the rush of people, neighborhoods like Ansley Park become littered with trash coming from the festival.

“There’s a great deal of trash that’s left by the people who attend Music Midtown. You go out on a Saturday or Sunday morning and see beer cans and Mcdonald’s wrappers,” Grady said. “Folks just treat the streets like they’re a garbage can. Music Midtown does nothing to discourage that and they don’t do anything in terms of trying to clean up.”

The community also faces the destruction of the park itself. With tens of thousands of visitors, the fields become damaged. This year in particular, the rain and mud have created more damage than usual.

“The damage is really concerning because it takes months for the grass to really root,” Cucchi said. “I feel like we sacrifice the park for one festival and the general enjoyment in the park really suffers because of it.”

Many within the community call for the removal of Music Midtown from Piedmont Park or for changes that would benefit the community.

“I don’t think anyone in Ansley Park would be in favor of continuing to have Music Midtown in piedmont park,” Grady said. “I can’t think of what changes there would be. The main thing would be if they encouraged people to take Marta and walk there if they are to continue having it there. Secondly, they could reach out to the local neighborhoods and offer to clean up all of the debris that their people leave.”

Although Cucchi has enjoyed and listened to Music Midtown in the past, she wishes for a change of location due to the large scale of the event and inconveniences that come with it.

“I would definitely like to see Atlanta hold Music Midtown [again] but I think they need to find a venue that is bigger that can accommodate the larger crowds and not cause so much of a disruption to the neighborhood where people are living,” Cucchi said.

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About the Writer
Max Nevins, Lifestyle Associate Managing Editor

Hi I'm Max Nevins and I'm the Lifestsyle Associate Managing Editor. This is my second year writing for The Southerner and last year I was a Junior Online...

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