Organizers cancel Atlanta music festival over state’s gun laws

Organizers canceled a music festival in Atlanta on Monday partially due to Georgia’s gun laws, sources told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“Due to circumstances beyond our control, Music Midtown will no longer be taking place this year,” the festival shared over Twitter. “We were looking forward to reuniting in September and hope we can all get back to enjoying the festival together again soon.”

The cancellation is related to legal fallout from a 2014 law expanding the areas in which gun owners are authorized to carry, two sources told the Journal-Constitution.

The 2014 Safe Carry Protection Act allows gun owners to carry firearms in most public areas without restrictions.

The law, passed by then-Gov. Nathan Deal (R), also allows school districts and religious figures to decide whether to allow firearms in their schools or places of worship, respectively.

The Music Midtown festival has historically prohibited weapons, but the 2014 law, called the “guns everywhere” law by critics, could complicate festival rules because of its lack of restrictions on public areas such as Piedmont Park.

The sources added that the owners of the festival, which would have hosted tens of thousands of attendees at Piedmont Park, worried about being sued if they restricted firearms at the event and artists canceling their appearances if weapons were allowed.

The cancellation comes months after a mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, killed 19 children and two adults, thrusting the gun debate back into the forefront of politics.