Music Midtown returns to Atlanta’s Piedmont Park this weekend, Sept. 17 and 18. More than 35 bands are playing the music festival, including The Killers, Twenty One Pilots and Beck. Attending a large festival like this can be overwhelming for both newbies and seasoned pros, so we’ve put together a brief survival guide with tips to help you get the most out of your Music Midtown experience.
1. Choose Your Transportation Wisely
Piedmont Park is an ideal location for Music Midtown, but it’s possibly one of the least convenient for parking during a weekend like this. Leave the car at home (or park it at one of MARTA’s free station decks), and be creative on how you arrive at the festival. Use a service or walk the Atlanta BeltLine straight into Piedmont Park. You can even ride your bike to the festival and leave it with the official (and free) bike valet, which is hosted by Atlanta Bicycle Coalition.
2. Bring Your Own (Approved) Water Bottle
It’s the last official weekend of summer here in Atlanta, so stay hydrated in the heat. Music Midtown attendees are allowed to bring one factory-sealed bottle of water to the festival (up to 1 liter) or an empty reusable water bottle. Once you’re in the gates, you can start drinking the water and refill at one of the many water filling stations.
3. Leave The Extras At Home
There’s a short list of items that are allowed into the festival, including a bag that measures no larger than 12 inches by 6 inches by 12 inches. Don’t bring anything you won’t want to carry around all day, even selfie sticks (sorry, they’re not allowed at Music Midtown). You don’t even need to bring any cash or credit cards if you register your wristband with MM Cashless, Music Midtown’s new payment method that allows you to pay for drinks, food and merchandise at the festival.
4. Check The Schedule Ahead Of Time
There are four stages at Music Midtown 2016. Music starts at 12:30 p.m. each day and goes until 11 p.m. on Saturday and 10 p.m. on Sunday. Planning ahead to determine which bands are on your “must-see” list and which ones you could skip could make your weekend a lot easier. The stages are located in the four corners of the park, so while they’re not too far apart, it will take some time to navigate from one to the other. Get your schedule set ahead of time and you won’t miss your favorite band’s performance!
5. Download The Mobile App And Map
Music Midtown has a free mobile app available for download on iPhone and Android devices that includes the latest news, updates, schedule and more. There’s also a map available for download online, which we recommend getting before you head to the festival. Cell coverage at music festivals can sometimes be unreliable since thousands of attendees are posting to social media all at one time. For example, earlier this year at Florida’s Okeechobee Music Festival, attendees used 3.69 terabytes of data during the three-day festival. Don’t get stuck with less-than-ideal service when you need it most – download the map today!
6. Check The Weather
Music Midtown is a rain-or-shine event, so plan accordingly! Don’t want to get wet if it rains? Pack a raincoat or plastic poncho (no umbrellas allowed). Worried about being in the sun all day? Bring a hat and a small bottle of sunscreen, but leave the aerosol bottles of spray sunscreen at home – they’re also on the list of prohibited items.
7. Don't Mess With The Wristband
One of the biggest things that could ruin your experience at Music Midtown 2016 is messing up your ticket wristband. The wristband is your access to the entire festival – your ticket into the gate, your method of paying for food and drink, and your way of getting back in on day two. Attendees need to wear their wristband on their right wrist at all times and are not allowed to take it off in between festival days. Once you put it on your wrist on Saturday, leave it on until the festival concludes Sunday night. Otherwise, you’ll risk an invalid wristband and may not be able to enjoy the rest of the festival.
General admission tickets to Music Midtown are available online for $135 for a two-day pass.