“The festival will be held at the park. It definitely will continue,” Dusenbury said. “We are reviewing plans to see if any adjustments need to made.”
That means headlining acts including Taylor Dayne and Steve Grand will be singing their songs in the vast space where Atlanta Pride attendees love to flock and be entertained.
Buck Cooke, executive director of Atlanta Pride, said Monday he and other Pride organizers did have concerns after seeing the park after Music Midtown.
“We’re obviously worried about the park,” Cooke said Monday when he was still in doubt as to what the city would decide.
Atlanta Pride’s mains stage will be set up where it always is in the meadow, Dusenbury said.
“The rule is you can’t put infrastructure where another infrastructure has been. Atlanta Pride’s main stage is in between where the two Music Midtown stages were,” he said.
“The vast majority of the park is unscathed and even a majority of the meadow will not be closed off,” he said. “I’m not saying there won’t be adjustments. But [Atlanta Pride] will move forward,” he said. He also said the annual AIDS Walk will also be able to be held in Piedmont Park.
A torrential downpour on Saturday when tens of thousands of people packed Piedmont Park for Music Midtown with such acts as Tegan and Sara, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Queens of Stone Age and closing act the Red Hot Chili Peppers resulted in Piedmont Park becoming a huge mud pit.
The Piedmont Park Conservancy issued a statement on its website concerning the damage:
Many of Piedmont Park Conservancy’s supporters have reached out to us with concern regarding the park’s post-event condition. Music Midtown’s large crowds mixed with Saturday’s rainy conditions have had an obvious effect on portions of the Meadow and Oak Hill.
The City of Atlanta makes all permitting decisions as it pertains to events in city parks. As is typical with events in Piedmont, the Conservancy has and will continue to offer counsel on best use and practices for staging events, load-in, load-out and repairs. The event organizer is responsible for 100 percent of the cost of remediation. We are focused on a safe load-out and are all in the process of finalizing a remediation plan. The City and event organizer will be installing temporary fencing while repairs are being made. We ask that you respect the temporary fencing and continue to be safe while visiting the park.
The Peachtree Road Race that attracts thousands of runners from all over the world to Atlanta over the July Fourth weekend this year was also held on a very rainy day that soaked the park and transformed the meadow into a muddy mess.
Tracy Lott, director of marketing and communications for the Atlanta Track Club, which puts on the annual Peachtree Road Race, told the GA Voice the track club paid approximately $10,000 this year to repair the park after rain poured down on the popular race over the Fourth of July weekend.
Cooke said Atlanta Pride has only paid about $500 each year to repair the park after the fest. The most Pride has had to pay was $12,321 in 2004.
In a story in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution [paywall], Dusenbury estimated the costs for repairs to Piedmont Park by Liven Nation, producers of Music Midtown, to possibly reach six figures.
Photo: Attendees at a recent Atlanta Pride fest sit in the shade overlooking the meadow at Piedmont Park and to the Coca-Cola main stage. (file photo)