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Arts Festival yields to Music Midtown at Piedmont Park | Arts & Culture

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Arts Festival yields to Music Midtown at Piedmont Park
Arts Festival yields to Music Midtown at Piedmont Park

ATLANTA -- The conflict between two festivals over Piedmont Park is over – and the smaller festival, the Atlanta Arts Festival, has stepped aside to let Music Midtown have the date it wanted. Music Midtown will take place the weekend of September 19, 2015. The Arts Festival takes place the following weekend of September 26.

Music Midtown is the big money, high profile and high decibel music festival that sought a permit in January for Piedmont Park. But when it applied, it found that the Atlanta Arts Festival had applied in November for the same weekend – and a city ordinance suggested that the first applicant got first preference.

The standoff drew the tight-lipped organizers of the Atlanta Arts Festival to a meeting at the mayor's office of special events two weeks ago. They were fearful that changing their traditional date would cripple their event financially, because other dates would compete with other arts festivals and that top vendors would have already committed elsewhere.

Now both festivals say in a joint statement they've "resolved the date issue … to the satisfaction of both parties." No word on the terms or whether Live Nation, Music Midtown's promoter exchanged any money with the non-profit Arts Festival.

Music Midtown is "gonna make more money simply by giving a little bit of money to the Arts Festival and say, hey, it's a win win situation. You make more money. We make more money," said Joe Cox of the Midtown Neighbors Association. He emphasized he had no personal knowledge of any money changing hands.

Cox says area residents assumed Live Nation would pay the Arts Festival to step aside. Live Nation did more than $6 billion worth of business in 2013, according to marketwatch.com. The Atlanta Arts Festival is a nonprofit.