This year, the stressful and stifling fall semester won’t be solved by two days of drinking expensive beer and dancing one-hit wonders in Atlanta’s Piedmont Park. That’s right, Live Nation canceled Midtown Music.
“It’s the guns,” my friend said in a text message that arrived minutes after the cancellation was announced. “They ruined it again.”
According to local and national media, Georgia’s gun laws ax the festival, namely the Safe Carry Protection Act of 2014, which has been dubbed the “guns everywhere bill” and allows Georgia residents with concealed carry permits can carry their guns on government grounds and buildings, churches, bars and even some parts of airports. Under that law, guns are allowed in public parks, which, according to a 2019 legal ruling, does It is impossible for Live Nation to enforce a temporary gun ban at Piedmont Park for the duration of the festival. Music Midtown’s cancellation is more than an attack on college students who wanted to see Future; it’s a sign that conservative politics will kill Atlanta.
First, the repeal signals that gun ownership privileges in Georgia are expanding dangerously. It goes without saying that firearms and music festivals are incompatible. A mass shooting at a music festival in Las Vegas dead more than 50 people in 2017. However, banning guns from festivals is illegal under state law because gun owners supposedly have their right to carry guns in public parks and endanger other festival-goers. Despite the countless tragedies of the past where people are reckless death in the hands of rampant gun control, Republicans somehow still manage to defend guns over human life in the name of freedom.
Culture is also at risk of dying. The cinematographic and musical scenes, which are part of what do Atlanta, the cultural capital of the South, is not immune to the repercussions of lax gun laws. The city is the center of the hip-hop music scene in the United States and has a growing indie-rock crowd. entertainment door an estimated $9.5 billion in revenue for the city, just from Music Midtown collecting 50 million dollars. However, scary gun laws like the “guns everywhere bill” may be the end of the city’s music scene.
Atlanta will risk losing more public music performances because it’s nearly impossible for artists to ban guns from their crowds. The Shaky Knees and ONEMusicfest festivals, which are also retained annually on public lands, will presumably be as follows. Maybe concerts will start to disappear too. It’s absurd to expect musicians to perform in front of a drunken, armed audience, and it’s unreasonable to assume that concertgoers will feel comfortable attending events while guns are blazing. Concerts and festivals are dangerous enough as they are; assistants risk being trampled, assaulted or drowned by unruly crowds. Governor Brian Kemp’s extreme gun agenda turns live music from an exciting event to a life or death experience.
Live music is only the tip of the iceberg; Music Midtown and the music industry at large might be the first, but not the last, victims of the Kemp era. The film industry will be next.
Film and TV producers love Atlanta thanks to generous tax credits, with the industry bringing the state $4.4 billion in revenue last year. However, restrictive abortion laws, in addition to discriminatory voting laws and lax gun regulations are also beginning to drive cinema away. After Georgia’s Fetal Heartbeat Law past banning most abortions once fetal heart activity is detected, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Ca.) urged film companies to end production in Georgia, calling new abortion laws are a “cruel attack on essential rights”. The industry protested when the law was first passed, and major producers and actors like Jason Bateman threatened leave Atlanta if enacted. Well, it was. Now, it’s only a matter of time before Hollywood, and billions of dollars in revenue, begin to evict the city, taking thousands of jobs with it.
Georgia Republicans are costing the state culture, tourism, jobs and revenue because of their radical agendas. The loss of Music Midtown is evidence of the growing disconnect between Democratic Atlanta and the GOP-controlled legislature. Although Atlantans exist in a liberal oasis with 72.6% of Fulton County election Democrats, residents are still negatively affected by conservative state laws. Beyond the dangerous basics of city life, like going to concerts, the ubiquity of guns is causing an increase in gun deaths in the state. Homicide rates to climb with each passing year, with deaths higher among black youth and in low income Black and native communities. Even Emory, in the wealthy bubble of Druid Hills, is not immune to gun violence. A student with a gun he asked a campus lockdown last May. A man was dead outside a popular Buckhead bar last April. A man was shot in Emory Commons last month. When guns can be carried everywhere, blood is spilled everywhere.
Being called repeatedly to vote is exhausting. But nothing will change until Kemp is out of office. This November, we can to vote Stacey Abrams in the governor’s office and has a chance to change state laws. Abrams has centered guns in his gubernatorial race, proposing to roll back Georgia Republicans’ loose gun laws. Perhaps he will finally bring the state into line with Atlanta, restoring abortion rights and tightening gun restrictions. Because in Atlanta, it’s not safe to have fun anymore.
Sophia Peyser (25C) is from New York, New York.