Music Midtown 2013 Misses the Mark

Ah the music festival!  It really is one of my very favorite things.  Because, what could be more exciting than seeing one great show?  How about 10?  Or 20?  Or more?!  I’ve been lucky enough to attend some really great ones, but I still haven’t cracked the big boys yet (Cochella, Bonnaroo, Burning Man).  The Voodoo Experience is my favorite.  Every October I make the trek to NOLA to visit my bestie for 3 days of music heaven.  Man do those guys know how to put on an event.  They always have a great line-up, but it is the management of the festival that makes it:  clean, well organized, tons of local food vendors, great merch, killer layout, and limited waiting for anything.  These guys are like machines!  Someone is constantly emptying trash cans (which are everywhere) or making sure the porta potties are good to go.  I’m already counting down to this year’s Voodoo; only a little over a month to go!

But this post isn’t about Voodoo.  I wish it were.  I really wish that I could easily compare Music Midtown to Voodoo, but they are almost opposite in every way.  Let’s breakdown Music Midtown 2013.

Great Acts!

So we’ll start with the one positive (and only thing they have in common with Voodoo), they pulled some great bands together this year.  I only went to Saturday, but still got to see:  Queens of the Stone
Age, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Capital Cities, Artic Monkeys, Weezer, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Imagine Dragons, The Black Lips, and ZZ Ward.  Not a bad day of musical acts and honestly, QOTSA’s set almost made the entire day worth it.  They played a kick ass show, though it was only just over an hour long.


They were perfection!

And now the rest of the Music Midtown experience….

Insanely long and disorganized entrance line…lines….mob of people.

It wasn’t very clear where the actual line was.  Was it all of the people on the sidewalk stringing out a third of a mile from Piedmont Park’s entrance (in both directions)?  Was it the herd in the street skipping all of those people?  Was it the secondary herd on the other side of the street skipping the skippers?  Who could tell?  Mostly everyone just shoved as close as they could to the entrance and hoped the line would move while trying not to come unglued because people were skipping them left and right.

An hour and a half.  That’s how long we waited.  And there were plenty who were likely less “aggressive” who waited much longer.  At one point some folks busted down a fence and just went in.  Well, I guess that could have saved me $115 each in ticket money.

I missed half of Weezer.  That really sucks.

They had one bag checker who poked in a bag or two.  One guy for 100,000 people .  Bags weren’t checked.  I could’ve gotten anything in this venue.  Why go through the motions if you’re really not going to check?

I saw three tickets scanners.  100,000 people and 3 scanners at the entrance, you do the math.


This line has a twin facing the opposite direction coming up the street.

I’m hungry.  Let’s stand in line….lines…a disorderly mob for 30 minutes for a veggie corndog.

Not nearly enough food vendors.  Hungry people are not so friendly.  Hungry, drunk people are doubly obnoxious.


This was totally worth $8 and 30 minutes.

This may not be Voodoo Fest, but it’s looking an awful lot like Doodoo Fest.

I think I saw about 50 or so porta potties.  50 bathroom for 100,000 people.  That’s a lot of poop and pee in a condensed space.  I forwent the beer (for which there were tons of vendors and short lines) so I wouldn’t have to face the bathroom disaster.  Lines were averaging around a 30 minute wait.  And around the time the sun set  the toilets started overflowing.  Yep.

Trash everywhere.

I would bitch that I can’t believe that people were so rude and threw their trash everywhere.  But honestly, they didn’t make it easy for folks to not be litter bugs.  There was a sever lack of trash cans present.


Definitely.  For the space and accommodations, this show was seriously oversold.  And I’m guessing that quite a few stayed at home or left due to the weather!  I’d estimate they could handle around 3/4 of the people there IF they hired more staff, had more food vendors, and quadrupled their porta potty number.  Want to sell more tickets?  You need more space.


This was from last year.  So picture this plus mud.

Monsoon season is upon us.

It poured.  Hard.  This was the one part of the day’s misery that isn’t on Music Midtown’s organizers.  It’s an outdoor concert and rain happens.  But in this instance, rain served to make me a soggy version of frustrated and disappointed.  Soggy is always worse.  An hour and a half wait in line in a nice breeze vs. dripping in a poncho.   Being crammed in like a sardine with dry folks vs. snuggling up with mud people.  Rain definitely made it worse.

At the end of the day, the feeling I was left with was disappointment.  I’ve lived in Atlanta for six years and this was my first Music Midtown.  Unfortunately, it will be my last.  I’ve seen many reviews online that mirror mine, but I’ve also seen many people raving about how awesome it was.  The music was awesome, but there is more to a good festival experience than music; especially in a city where there are multiple great shows playing any day of the week.  The only thing I can figure is maybe it’s an age thing.  The average age of the vast majority of the MM goers looked to be around 19-22.  And let’s face it, at that age you can tolerate A LOT more!  You just get shit housed and roll in the mud.  You’ll pee by the fence, f@& the porta potty lines (I saw TONS of people doing just that) and why would you want to eat food?  That would only ruin a good buzz; we’ll grab some Waffle House later!  Well this old lady obviously can’t hang.  So peace out Music Midtown.  I’ll leave you to the youngsters and take my disposable 30-something income elsewhere.


See any 30s in this picture?

Stay positive & love your life (even when you are in a poopy porta potty)!



Listening to:  F. Stokes – 1954

Eating:  So many leftovers

Drinking:  H2O

Random fact:  I HATE that this was Matty’s first festival experience.  Wah, wah,


3 thoughts on “Music Midtown 2013 Misses the Mark

  1. Yeah, I didn’t hear too many good things about this year’s Music Midtown, and a poorly-run event is the quickest way to get it run out of town again.


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