Music Midtown will take place Friday and Saturday at Piedmont Park. Artists to perform are Pearl Jam, above, Foo Fighters, Florence + Machine and more.
ATLANTA — In the noticeable absence of the Music Midtown festival that had become as much a part of Georgia's capital city as the historic Varsity restaurant or the sprawling world's busiest airport, would-be promoters started talking about filling the void.
That got Peter Conlon's attention.
"When we first decided to shut the festival down (in 2005), it was not hard at all," Conlon, the promoter who with fellow Atlanta music legend Alex Cooley turned Music Midtown into the one-time largest festival in the nation, said in a telephone interview. "It was like, 'Great, it's good to get away from all the hassles with the city and all the other headaches.
"But a city like Atlanta deserves to have a festival like Music Midtown. And when I heard some people had started talking about putting one together, I said if there's going to be a big festival here, it should be Music Midtown."
After a five-year absence, the festival that was born in the summer of 1994 and at its peak drew more than 300,000 weekend visitors returned in 2011. That scaled-down one-day Music Midtown, headlined by Coldplay and the Black Keys and used as an interest barometer by Conlon and Co., was a hit, proving to the world that the man had not lost his musical Midas touch.
Now the Live Nation honcho and his crew are preparing for Music Midtown 2012, set for Friday and Saturday at Piedmont Park. And the stellar lineup offers further proof that Conlon still has his significant mojo.
"You have to 'book down' with a festival like Music Midtown," Conlon said. "You have to book the big acts and then find others that fit with those acts. There's no real science to it; you start with four or five names on your wish list and put out feelers to see if they're interested."
The interest Conlon and his crew drew for MM '12 was indeed impressive. Among the artists scheduled to perform are Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters, Florence + the Machine, TI, Garbage and Neon Trees.
Other notable acts set to play on the two Music Midtown stages are Friday acts Van Hunt, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts and the Avett Brothers, and Saturday performers Ludacris, Girl Talk, Adam Ant, Civil Twilight, LP and O'Brother.
Tickets, which are $55 for single-day passes until the days of the shows, at which time they will be $65, and $100 for the weekend, are available at www.musicmidtown.com, www.livenation.com or by phone at (800) 745-3000.
Citi VIP and Super VIP passes are also available for $250 and $1,000, respectively. City VIP passes include admission to the festival, private VIP entrance, private outdoor area at Park Tavern with complementary food and beverages all day, private air-conditioned restrooms and first opportunity to buy future VIP tickets. Super VIP passes include admission, valet parking, private entrance, exclusive viewing areas located at the front of both stages, private indoor and outdoor areas at Park Tavern with food and beverages, private restrooms, event T-shirt, limited edition screen print poster, VIP laminate and first opportunity to buy future passes.
Information about the festival is available at www.musicmidtown.com.