You might notice a few changes with Music Midtown this weekend.
Most notably, there’s a younger cast of artists — including Twenty One Pilots, Deadmau5, DNCE, Leon Bridges, Logic and Alabama Shakes — spread among the four stages (relative graybeards Beck and The Killers also headline).
“Our audience is 17-34. That’s the audience that wants to go to festivals,” reasoned Peter Conlon, president of Live Nation Atlanta, which produces the two-day festival.
And, hey, if you crave nostalgia, there’s always the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame lineup of Heart, Cheap Trick and Joan Jett & the Blackhearts playing Chastain Park Amphitheatre Saturday.
The other alteration at Music Midtown this year: the shift to two full days of music on Saturday and Sunday instead of a half-day Friday and all day Saturday (so, yep, set the DVR for Sunday football and turn off those score notifications!).
Those modifications aside, here are eight things to know to help you navigate your Music Midtown weekend.
(Scroll down for schedule and links to other Music Midtown stories.)
1. If you’ve attended Music Midtown since it returned in 2011, this part is easy: It’s in Piedmont Park again. If this is your first visit, here’s a little assist: There are four entrances to the festival. Re-entry is permitted, however you must be “scanned out” upon exiting if you wish to return that day.
The four entrances:
• Charles Allen Gate — located at the corner of 10th Street and Charles Allen Drive.
• Lakeside Gate — located at the Piedmont Park 14th Street entrance by Magnolia Hall
• 10th Street Gate — located across from Grady High School Stadium
• 12th Street Gate — located at 12th Street and Piedmont Avenue
The far right lane at every gate will be ADA accessible.
2. Don’t try to drive, because there is nowhere to park. Truly. There is, however, parking for those with disabilities available in surrounding paid and private lots, and preferred parking available for Super VIP ticketholders only.
Here are some options: Uber users will receive $20 off their first ride by downloading the Uber app and signing in with promo code MusicMidtown16.
If you’d rather not be driven around in a car by a stranger, MARTA is your best option. The Midtown and Arts Center stations on the Red and Gold lines are the closest. The most convenient free MARTA parking is Lindbergh Center Station, also on the Red and Gold lines.
3. Enhanced security will be in place this year, so fans are encouraged to arrive early. Be prepared for inspection as you enter, as well as for the use of metal detectors. Bags — which will be searched — cannot be larger than 12 inches by 6 inches by 12 inches. Backpacks and CamelBaks are not allowed.
4. There is a new twist on cashless payments this year if you’re a Citi card holder. Citi customers can link their RFID festival entry wristband to their Citi credit card or debit card, which will turn their wristband into a cashless payment device. The setup provides other perks, including front row viewing at the Electric Ballroom main stage and entry to the Citi Cardmember Dockside Lounge (Wi-Fi and bathrooms!). For more information, visit musicmidtown.com/wristband.
5. A new version of the free Music Midtown app is available for Android and iPhones. Festivalgoers can get real-time updates, schedules, maps and information on food vendors.
6. Speaking of food, some of this year’s offerings include Nectar, Willy’s Mexicana Grill, Williamson Brothers, Pizza Nova, the Loaded Burger, King of Pops, Island Noodles, Fry Guy and Ibiza Bites. (Find the full lineup at musicmidtown.com/food-court.)
7. If you still need to buy tickets, make sure to purchase via musicmidtown.com or frontgatetickets.com, the official ticket providers for Music Midtown. Tickets are $135 for a two-day general admission pass, $600 for two-day VIP and $1,200 for two-day Super VIP.
If the festival is canceled for any reason, only tickets purchased through those two sites will be refunded. Also, if you can’t attend a certain day and you’re thinking about selling your wristband, good luck with that. The removal of a wristband automatically voids it.
Box offices will be located at 12th Street and Piedmont Avenue (10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-closing Saturday and Sunday) and at 10th Street and Charles Allen Drive (10 a.m.-closing Saturday and Sunday).
8. A full list of allowed and prohibited items can be viewed at musicmidtown.com, but the quick list is:
Yay: binoculars, blankets/towels, nonprofessional cameras (no removable lenses) and water (you may bring one factory-sealed water bottle and refill it at free water filling stations or an empty reusable water bottle).
Nay: drones, umbrellas (bring a poncho since rain is possible), video or professional recording equipment, weapons, selfie sticks, fireworks and baby strollers. Also, even though many people choose to ignore this fact, Piedmont Park is a city park, and there is no smoking in city parks. Don’t be annoying.
MUSIC MIDTOWN SCHEDULE
Saturday, Sept. 17. Gates open at noon.
12:30 p.m. — Balkan Beat Box at Honda Stage
1:30 p.m. — Johnnyswim at Cotton Club Stage
1:30 p.m. — Zella Day at Electric Ballroom Stage
2:30 p.m. — City and Colour at Roxy Stage
2:30 p.m. — NF at Honda Stage
3:30 p.m. — the Coathangers at Cotton Club Stage
3:30 p.m. — DNCE at Electric Ballroom Stage
4:30 p.m. — Chvrches at Roxy Stage
4:30 p.m. — Logic at Honda Stage
5:30 p.m. — Lucius at Cotton Club Stage
5:30 p.m. — Leon Bridges at Electric Ballroom Stage
6:30 p.m. — Band of Horses at Roxy Stage
6:30 p.m. — Big Boi at Honda Stage
7:30 p.m. — G-Eazy at Electric Ballroom Stage
7:30 p.m. — Mayer Hawthorne at Cotton Club Stage
8:30 p.m. — Beck at Roxy Stage
8:30 p.m. — ColleGrove (Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz) at Honda Stage
9:30 p.m. — Twenty One Pilots at Electric Ballroom Stage
Sunday, Sept. 18. Gates open at noon.
12:30 p.m. — Joseph at Electric Ballroom Stage
12:45 p.m. — Daya at Roxy Stage
1:30 p.m. — Peter, Bjorn and John at Honda Stage
1:45 p.m. — the Shadowboxers at Cotton Club Stage
2:30 p.m. — St. Lucia at Electric Ballroom Stage
2:45 p.m. — Melanie Martinez at Roxy Stage
3:30 p.m. — Corrine Bailey Rae at Honda Stage
3:45 p.m. — Pete Yorn at Cotton Club Stage
4:30 p.m. — James Bay at Electric Ballroom Stage
4:45 p.m. — Grouplove at Roxy Stage
5:30 p.m. — Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats at Honda Stage
5:45 p.m. — Raury at Cotton Club Stage
6:30 p.m. — the Lumineers at Electric Ballroom Stage
6:45 p.m. — Kesha at Roxy Stage
7:30 p.m. — Alabama Shakes at Honda Stage
7:45 p.m. — DJ Mustard at Cotton Club Stage
8:30 p.m. — the Killers at Electric Ballroom Stage
8:45 p.m. — Deadmau5 at Roxy Stage
To keep up with everything Music Midtown this weekend, follow me on Twitter @MRuggieriAJC and return to The Music Scene blog for recaps, photos and video.