Music Midtown

Claire Mulkey and Ansley Tanner

Atlanta’s annual Music Midtown festival has come to a close after hosting over 45,000 attendees and 30 performers during the rainy weekend in mid-Sept. Maroon 5, Miley Cyrus, 21 Savage, the Jonas Brothers, and Marshmello headlined the festival. 

A mid-concert flick taken during the amazing Maroon 5 performance. (Credit: Ansley Tanner)

Roswell High School was well-represented at Music Midtown. Senior Liney Loftus attended both days. The highlight of her weekend was “just being back in the concert setting” after the pandemic, as well as seeing artists she would not normally get to see.

Senior Veronica Soroka loved to see “over a thousand people singing “Party in the USA” together. The concerts started at 12 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 18, and ended that night at 11 p.m.

Most students went back home afterwards, driving home, getting picked up by parents or Ubers, or taking MARTA, although some stayed in hotels in Atlanta overnight. On Sunday, the performers started at 12 p.m., going until 10 p.m. Miley Cyrus had the biggest crowd as she closed out the festival with a bang.

The next morning, kids had to be back at school. However, it was the first late-start Monday, so students had an extra hour to sleep! This was definitely needed after a weekend of partying and travel.  

A big part of Music Midtown are the outfits that attendees wear. Popular outfits incorporated bright colors and animal prints, says Loftus, who went for “basic stuff like jean shorts and tanktops.”

Most boys go for a chill look, wearing jerseys or Hawaiian shirts with shorts. Fanny packs are a must for the weekend, to carry all the necessary items or add a stylish touch!

Soroka saw some crazy outfits while she was there, like a girl “who wore only nipple tape and swimsuit bottoms,” or the multiple people with 10-inch platform shoes stomping around in the mud. There is definitely a theme for the weekend, as most attendees wear outlandish outfits. 

Music Midtown is similar to other festivals, where there are multiple stages, in this case four stages, where performers rotate in and out. Festivalgoers can then choose which performances they want to see. The four stages were Roxy, Cotton Club, Great Southeast Music, and Verizon. 

Top performers, other than the five headliners, were Megan Thee Stallion, AJR, Lauv, Girl in Red, Oliver Tree, Machine Gun Kelley, Yungblud, Jack Harlow, Tate McRae, the Bleachers, and Surfaces. 

Of the individual concerts I attended, my favorites from the headliners were Maroon 5 and 21 Savage, and other top performers were Machine Gun Kelley and Surfaces. Maroon 5, led by Adam Levine, closed the festival Saturday night and was a surreal experience.

They performed many classics such as “Sugar,” and new hits like “Beautiful Mistakes. There was also a variety of slow and fast songs, with jaw dropping vocals. 21 Savage was a different vibe and performed earlier on Saturday evening. He got the crowd very hyped up, despite a short break in the middle of the concert for technical problems.

Dancing fans disregarded the rain and enjoyed 21’s impressive interaction with the crowd. He, along with Machine Gun Kelly, brought out Atlanta resident Young Thug. This was an unexpected excitement that revved the crowd.

Machine Gun Kelly followed 21 with a great performance and also did lots of engaging with the crowd and talking about Atlanta specifically. Surfaces, being early in the day on Sunday, was a great way to start the afternoon with popular songs such as “I Like Me Better” and “So Tired.”

On the other hand, there were some performances that just fell under the expectations of excited fans. Some of these slight disappointments include Jack Harlow and Marshmello. While Jack Harlow was pretty average, fans were expecting more, considering he is featured on the biggest song on the charts currently: “Industry Baby.”

While he did end his set with this hit, he was not the best at engaging the crowd and sang a multitude of old songs that are not as well known as some of his recents. This underwhelming performance was then followed by Marsmello being delayed for at least 30 minutes with no explanation or duration except: “The concert is on delay until further notice.”

While impatiently waiting, fans can hear the start of Miley Cyrus’ ground-shaking vocals. Marshmello finally came on, yet still reminiscing on the hint of Miley I heard, I left the techno DJ’s concert early. Catching the end of Miley’s performance was worth the run and fans went crazy for her hit song “Party In The USA,” previously mentioned by Soroka. 

Contrary to the popular belief of many suburban Atlanta teenagers, Music Midtown was not designed for their quirky Instagram posts. The festival has been held in Atlanta since 1994, except for the years 2006-2010 and 2020.

It has been held in multiple locations, but for the past decade, has been held in Piedmont Park. Tickets are at least $135 for the two-day concert. 

The festival has come a long way since those days, now sporting exorbitant prices and hosting huge artists that could have their own sold-out concerts. Roswell students enjoyed themselves at the festival, but it wasn’t all rainbows and sunshine at Music Midtown. 

Click here to check out last year’s Midtown Music festival.