My Weekend with Eminem, Lorde, Lana Del Rey, John Mayer and TwentyOnePilots

mm2014aIt’s Sunday, September 21st and I just spent an entire weekend with some of the most amazing  musical talents in the industry at Music Midtown 2014. If you can imagine the most spectacular weather with just enough breeze and some of your favorite tunes wafting past as you sample Atlanta’s best eats, THAT IS Music Midtown – pure Southern Heaven -every one is smiling and singing and the trees are dancing.

Then BOOM! it gets dark and Heaven disappears.

Instead, it becomes the creepy fair your grandparents used to take you to with one ride, a Ferris wheel and a midway with the only game worth playing is challenging yourself from screaming “MOVE!” when the sidewalk hits a sheeple bottleneck caused by rubberneckers, cellphone checkers and texters who slow down the process. Every once in a while, someone will barrel through the people knot followed by jeers of yelling “Hey!” “Watch it!” as you unconsciously elevate that obnoxious bully to superhero status.mm2014b

More than 60,000 people attended this year’s event including me, Eminem, Lorde, Lana Del Rey, John Mayer, the Zac Brown Band, Iggy Azalea, Jack White, Third Eye Blind, TwentyOnePilots, B.o.B. and more. I cannot imagine anything like this when I was a teen, but then again things have changed. In addition to technology transferring the experience from Music Midtown to social media then to anywhere in the world, the attendees base has been redefined and not for the better. The boys are the same, but the girls have somehow lost any sense of personal space or appropriate touching protocol. As the evening progressed and alcohol took hold, I found myself having to tell several girls to get off me and it wasn’t just me they were leaning on, hugging, grinding on, etc.

We can’t have a revolution if our soldiers have no boundaries.

And because I’m a fixer (not a complainer) here’s a few more constructive critiques about this year’s event – you’re welcome Peter Conlon (President of Live Nation Southeast).

CRITIQUE #1 – Install Better Lighting at Night: From what I’ve hear from other people, puking and passing out are popular nighttime events. Hundreds of thousands of dollars of lighting might expose too much of the drinking, puking and random bathroom stops sans port-o-potty, making me think darkness has a strategy. Still.

CRITIQUE #2 – Designate Paths on the Hills Overlooking the Honda Stage and the Electric Ballroom Stage: As I said, the The difference between dusk and dark is literally the same as night and day. One minute you’re strolling over the hill at Piedmont Park to the Honda Stage to watch Twentyonepilots and the next minute it’s nearly dusk and out of nowhere THOUSANDS of people have reserved their spot on the hill in the form of a blanket scrunched right up to their neighbor. If your try to walk up or down  the hill, you are severely reprimanded, and yet, their is no pathway. I’m calling this a hazard.

CRITIQUE #3 – Roaming Food Vendors: If you’re going to have roaming beer guys selling magnum cans of beer, can we get some roaming hot dog or peanut vendors? It works in baseball.

Lastly, with 60,000 attendees, exceptional acts and an incredibly organized event, I offer my praise more than my critiques. See you next year!