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‘Come on up.’ NC governor invites Music Midtown Festival after it’s nixed in Atlanta

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My Chemical Romance (copy)

My Chemical Romance was among the artists lined up for this year's Music Midtown festival in Atlanta. After the festival was canceled, N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper invited organizers to bring the festival to North Carolina.

N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper has offered to host a long-running music festival after it was canceled in Atlanta.

On Monday, organizers with Music Midtown, which has been a go-to for music lovers since 1994, called off the event for unspecified reasons.

The festival was scheduled for Sept. 17-18 with headliners My Chemical Romance, Future, Jack White and Fall Out Boy. Other artists that were scheduled to perform included a range of musical artists like Phoenix, Mitski, 2 Chainz, Freddie Gibbs and Tinashe.

Cooper shared an article from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on his Facebook page on Tuesday inviting the festival to North Carolina.

“We’re ready to welcome you to one of our amazing outdoor spaces to help you host a fun and safe festival,” the governor wrote. The post has 115 comments, some of which showed support for the move.

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

Several media outlets, and participants, speculate that the festival was canceled due to Georgia’s recent rollback on gun restrictions in public spaces.

The 2014 “Safe Carry Protection Act” bill was called the “Guns Everywhere” law. It allows Georgia residents with a permit to carry a concealed weapon to bring guns to bars, churches, school zones, government buildings and in the airport.

The Republican-backed bill also allowed firearms on publicly owned land, such as city property and parks.

In 2019, the law was expanded by the Georgia Supreme Court to prevent certain business owners from deciding who could disallow guns on publicly owned land.

Organizers for Music Midtown were threatened with a lawsuit by gun owners if they decided to hold the festival with gun restrictions in place, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

The cancellation has sparked outrage from many fans, festival participants and some Georgia politicians, including Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, who said the festival’s cancellation could cost the state’s economy $50 million.

In 2021, more than 50,000 people attended, USA Today reported.

Music Midtown has not responded to The N&O for comments about Cooper’s invitation nor confirmed any plans to move the event. Organizers told participants that refunds will be processed within the next day on their website.

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