Music Midtown returns to Piedmont Park

On Sept. 18-19, Music Midtown returned to Atlanta for one of the city’s largest events since before the pandemic. Miley Cyrus, pictured above, sang a variety of new and old hits on Sunday night. // Photo by Josh Kim/Student Publications

Music Midtown returned to Atlanta for the first time since 2019, allowing over 30 artists to take to the festival’s stage. Piedmont Park transformed into a 4-stage venue for the weekend and attendees made their return after the festival was cancelled due to the pandemic last year.

The festival was one of Atlanta’s first large events since before the pandemic began. With over 50,000 attendees, the weekend served as the first live music event that many fans had attended in over a year.

Saturday’s lineup included indie singer-songwriter Girl In Red, who had many tracks gain attention on social media over the past year. Many festival guests attended her set at the Verizon Stage as she performed some of her viral hits like “Girls” and “We Fell in Love in October” as well as tracks from new debut album “If I Could Make It Go Quiet.”

Later in the afternoon, a large crowd gathered at the Cotton Club stage to see singer-songwriter Oliver Tree take the stage for a more peculiar performance. He appeared carrying a larger-than-life-sized guitar and wearing giant baggy jeans as he performed songs from his 2020 debut album “Ugly Is Beautiful.” Oliver Tree’s performance attracted a lively crowd and was one of the most unique sets of the weekend.

Closing off the night, headliner Maroon 5 played an hour-and-a-half-long set of some of their biggest hits from over the years. The crowd took a trip through memory lane as the band played songs dating back to their debut album from 2002 all the way up to their most recent singles. They played many fan favorites, from high-energy hits like 2014’s “Sugar” to tranquil classics like 2002’s “She Will Be Loved.”

American indie pop band Bleachers was a highlight of Sunday afternoon at the festival. Fronted by award-winning record producer Jack Antonoff, the band brought a huge crowd as they played an hour-long set of synth-pop anthems. Heavily inspired by 80’s alternative, the band’s music excited the audience with their high-energy performance.

Rapper Megan Thee Stallion was a highly anticipated performer after gaining popularity over the past year. Performing all of her most iconic hits like “Savage” and “Body,” Megan drew one of the largest crowds of the weekend and was a fan-favorite of the festival.

Continuing the trip down memory lane, singer Miley Cyrus closed off the festival on Sunday night playing hits from throughout her career. The crowd shouted all of her lyrics as she jumped from older songs like “See You Again” from her 2007 debut album to more recent hits like “Malibu” from her 2017 album “Younger Now.” Cyrus’s performance brought one of the festival’s biggest crowds and ended the weekend on a high note.