Music Midtown 2021 Recap


This weekend I had the chance to go to the Music Midtown music festival in Atlanta. The festival took place in Piedmont Park in the Midtown district of Atlanta. This was one of the first times people were able to come together at an outdoor event without masks. At first, I had some COVID concerns, but they did require patrons to show proof of vaccination or a negative covid test within the last 72 hours. My initial impression of the set line up was good, there were some people I didn’t know but I was optimistic. I tried to see as many people as I could, but 2 of the 4 stages had a performer every hour, so I was forced to make some trade-offs. I saw everyone I wanted to see for the most part, while also being able to see new artists and enjoy some of their music.  

The first set I saw on Saturday afternoon was Girl in Red. I had never heard of her, but she turned out to be really good. I would describe her music as alt-pop. Regardless of genre, she knew how to put on a show. Since it was one of the earlier shows (3:00 pm), we were able to get really close. I was on the big screens a couple of times which was pretty cool. However, because it was so early, there were not as many people there. On the whole, Girl in Red’s performance was pretty good.

Next, my group headed across the field to see someone I have never heard of. A female rapper by the name of Ashnikko. All I can say is, it was a very interesting performance. Look up the video if you want, but at your own discretion. As interesting as it was, there was a huge crowd, and people were going crazy. Even though I did not know a single song, I still thought the performance was cool solely because of the atmosphere.

The third set we went to on Saturday was LAUV. Now this was another artist I had no idea about. When we walked over, the crowd was large but also silent. His performance in my opinion was pretty bland. Of all the shows we saw, this was probably my least favorite. Nothing against LAUV and his fans, but I was just not into it. We left this show early to get some food. This is an appropriate time to discuss the absolute scam that is festival food. The price of everything is TRIPLED, and I mean that. You want a slice of pizza? That’ll be $10. I mean it is outrageous. Bottled water was $5 and that was the cheapest thing there. Thankfully,  they did have water stations so those with water bottles were able to fill and refill them.

21 Savage’s set while he played “Runnin”

The second to last show we saw on Saturday was 21 Savage. Personally, this was my favorite show of the whole festival. I should preface this by saying I am a huge fan of his. His set tracklist was great. He played new songs like “Runnin” and some older songs like “X” and “No Heart”, he even sang his featured verses in Drake’s new song “Knife Talk” as well as J. Cole’s song “m y . l i f e”. The crowd for this set was huge, probably one of the biggest of the entire festival. I was close to the front so I was able to see pretty well. The “rage” per se, of the crowd was insane, people were really into it. After this show it took me so long to get out of the crowd I missed Machine Gun Kelly, but that was a necessary sacrifice in my opinion.

The last show Saturday night was Maroon 5. They had a really cool set of stage props for their set. They played all their hits throughout the years. From songs like “She Will Be Loved” and “Sunday Morning” on the album “Songs About Jane” to their new age music like “Sugar”. Of course they opened the show with arguably their most famous song, “Moves Like Jagger”. This was definitely the largest crowd of the entire festival, people of all ages came together and enjoyed the music pretty peacefully. I feel like the calm made the show better because you were able to hear them from further away. 


Maroon 5 performing “Sunday Morning”

The next day, I had to sleep in till like 11:00 am because I was so tired from standing and singing along. I arrived at the festival on Sunday around 4:00 pm. I was in time to catch the end of Tate McRae’s performance. I didn’t really know what to expect because I had never heard of her. I could tell people who were true fans of her enjoyed the show, but for the most part my group was just there to pass time. 

After her set, we walked to get lunch and listen to the band Bleachers. Their lead singer is actually the lead guitarist from the 2000’s band “Fun.”. Their performance was alright, I knew a few songs, but some of the others they sang were good too. There weren’t very many people at this set either. Immediately after they concluded, we turned to the other stage to see the band Surfaces. I was kind of excited to see them because I like their music. However, their performance was very underwhelming. I don’t know if they were having technical issues but their microphones were very quiet and overall it just was not a great show.

Since we left that show early, we followed the masses to wait for Megan Thee Stallion to start. We stood there for probably 40 minutes waiting. The crowd for this show was electric since it was one of the big last shows of the night. I mean, there were so many people you could barely breathe. I didn’t know the words to the songs but the rest of my group was really into it. I might not be her biggest fan, but I cannot deny that her performance was great and the audience was just as good. Everyone shared a small piece of “Hot Girl Summer” a year after it happened. 

Jack Harlow Performing “Industry Baby”

It took a little bit to get out of the crowd for Megan, but after that I walked over to see Jack Harlow. After seeing the videos of his performance at Lollapalooza I was really excited. At one point in the show he asked if the crowd liked Lil Nas X. Naturally, everyone freaked out because they thought he was bringing him out.

Unfortunately, he did not bring him on stage, but he did perform his verse on Lil Nas X’s song “Industry Baby” which is very famous on Tik Tok. It did not get as crazy as Lolla, nevertheless, Jack Harlow lived up to the hype. 

Miley Performing “Wrecking Ball”

The final performance of the festival was Miley Cyrus. When I say the whole festival was at this performance, I mean the whole festival. She opened with her song “We Can’t Stop”. It was a great choice because it got the whole crowd going very early. Everyone was singing and the sound of the crowd drowned out her voice on the speakers.

The middle songs of her set were her newer more “punk rock” songs. I didn’t know any of these but they still were good. Then Miley really went deep into her catalog and played “The Climb”. This was a song everyone knew, even if you don’t like Miley, you still know this. Some people even broke down into tears during this song, which I believe was very appropriate. She capped off her excellent performance with “Wrecking Ball”, a song with a controversial music video when it was first released, but nowadays know one really cares about that. Ending the set on this song really seemed to make the crowd’s weekend.

All in all, this was a great music festival with a pretty good lineup. I would definitely recommend Music Midtown for anyone trying to get into the festival scene. Even though the food was a scam, and I probably spent way too much money. The experience was worth every penny. I plan to make a return to the fest next year as well, I hope to see you there.